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Why did Mayella falsey accuse Tom Robinson of raping her? After all, he was one of the...

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melabela5194 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 19, 2010 at 6:49 AM via web

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Why did Mayella falsey accuse Tom Robinson of raping her? After all, he was one of the few people who had ever been nice to her.

Why did Mayella falsey accuse Tom Robinson of raping her? After all, he was one of the few people who had ever been nice to her.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted January 19, 2010 at 7:00 AM (Answer #2)

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Mayella was probably coerced by her father to accuse Tom Robinson.  Her father Bob Ewell was a drunk and a mean man.  He saw his daughter with Tom Robinson, and he was angry.  He raped and beat his daughter.  He knew he would have to have a cover for his actions.  Since he had seen Robinson on his property, Robinson was an easy target.  He was a black, male, in the vicinity, and since it is a small town, he probably even knew that Tom had a police record.

Mayella was dependent on her father to provide for her.  She had also been a victim for along time.  I imagine he abused her and she was afraid of her father's wrath.  Te other issue is that if anyone found out the truth, she would be shamed through-out the county.  While the people believed it was Robinson, she gained positive attention as the poor white girl raped by the evil black man.  In addition, Robinson was probably disposable because all he was to the Ewell's was a "N---er."  He had no presence to them of being a human being who would hurt ad suffer from their actions.

 

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littlefrisco | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 19, 2010 at 12:42 PM (Answer #3)

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The predominant theory is that Mayella was hurt by her father (and presumably on an ongoing basis). Being young, poor, and uneducated, Mayella was subserviant to her father and dependant upon him for survival. Perhaps this was the first time that he left visible damage on his daughter that would have to be explained - enter the scapegoat.

Tom was an easy target simply by nature; a black man accused of laying hands on a white woman in the South at the time would never get a jury of HIS peers, and his word would count for almost nothing against a white.

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happystudent | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 28, 2011 at 2:44 PM (Answer #4)

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hmm i always thought it was because Tom Robinson was the only person who was nice to her, so she kinda "fell in love" with him/ like him(as a brother), so she kissed him. However, when Bob Ewell saw that, he got really angry and disgusted by Mayella's actions (How can a white kiss a black). He started hitting Mayella, causing the injuries on her body. He tried to cover up for his actions by accusing TR of raping Mayella.

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sgcass | High School Teacher | eNoter

Posted November 30, 2011 at 12:28 PM (Answer #5)

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Mayella tried to seduce Tom Robinson, and Bob Ewell saw them through the window.  Mayella may have tried to cover up her own actions from her father for fear of getting beaten even more than normal.  Plus, if word had gotten out in town among the white peope, she would be shunned by everyone. 

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