Its important to note how strongly Harper Lee demonstrates the effects of environment in this novel, particularly with reference to the Ewell family. Mayella can been seen in contrast with her father, as she shows feelings of tenderness, but she is still caught in a net of disgrace. To save herself, she allows an innocent man to be accused and convicted. She can not see past the behaviors that her father has instilled in her, despite her obvious desire to escape.
Similarly, Mayella's younger siblings demonstrate tendencies towards corruption. The offer no help to the eldest Mayella in her household duties, in favor of running about loose in town. The younger Ewell we meet in Chapter 2 is surly and rude, and shows no interest in gaining education and bettering himself, showing up only on the first day of school. Lee makes a critical statement about the effects of social pressure and social class upon the masses, a statement echoed by Atticus in his closing arguments, when he insists that all men have not been created and are not treated equally.