Homework Help

Who is more responsible for Tom Robinson being falsely accused of rape: Bob Ewell or...

user profile pic

elena101 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted February 21, 2012 at 10:58 AM via web

dislike 1 like

Who is more responsible for Tom Robinson being falsely accused of rape: Bob Ewell or Mayella Ewell?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

In a way, both Tom Robinson and Mayella Ewell are both victims.  Tom Robinson is guilty of no more than being a good neighbor, and feeling sorry for a white woman.  In Maycomb, feeling sorry for a white woman was a capital offense.

“And so a quiet, respectable, humble Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to ‘feel sorry’ for a white woman has had to put his word against two white people’s. (ch 19)

Mayella was an innocent girl, but she did accuse Tom Robinson.  As Atticus points out to the jury, Mayella behaved as a child.  She just tried to push the responsibility for her actions onto others.

She has committed no crime, she has merely broken a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. (ch 21)

However, if I was going to choose who was more responsible, it is definitely Mayella.  She is the one who cried rape.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes