Briefly summarize Mayella's version of what happened in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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mrwickline eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mayella claims that one day Tom Robinson was walking by and she invited him in because she wanted him to chop up an old piece of furniture for kindling. When she went inside to pay Tom with a nickel, he followed her into the house and attacked her from behind. She says that she yelled and fought back, but in the end Tom was able to overpower and rape her. Mayella told Atticus that she did not remember what happened after she was raped, only that her father and Mr. Tate eventually showed up. As Atticus further questions Mayella, she nervously admitts that Tom passed her house almost every day, but she only asked him to come into the house this once. When asked whether she was hit in the face, Mayella says, “no”, “yes”, and “I can’t remember” while she breaks down and cries. Mayella points out Tom to identify her rapist, only to have Atticus point out that Tom is crippled from a cotton gin accident as a child, and would have had a very difficult time attacking her in the way she has described to the jury.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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