Referencing Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, how might I write four diary entries from either Bob Ewell's or Mayella Ewell's perspective? 

Referencing Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, how might I write four diary entries from either Bob Ewell's or Mayella Ewell's perspective?


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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an interesting assignment. It might be easier to choose to write from Mayella's perspective because young girls usually write in diaries, not older men. One entry could be about what actually happened on the day she trapped and kissed Tom Robinson; the next would could be about being beat up by her father and lying to the police about it; then, the third one could be about how she feels the night before the trial; and the fourth one could be about her feelings after the trial.

The first entry would show Mayella talking about Tom Robinson being handsome and kind to her. She likes him because he is kind to her and speaks to her kindly as well. Her white pride might come into her reasoning that if she can make a black man do chores for her, she could kiss him, and he wouldn't say anything about it because it would be her word against his. This entry should also include the plan about how she sends her siblings off with nickels for ice-cream so she and Tom can be alone. She would end the entry saying that her father will be gone hunting, so he shouldn't be a problem either.

The second entry would be from the night she gets caught by her father with Tom Robinson. She would describe how humiliated and embarrassed she was when her father looked through the window and screamed her name as she was hugging Tom. Then she would describe how her father beat her up to make it look like a rape. She would include what she is supposed to tell the sheriff when he got there to take a statement, too. In the end, she would justify her lying by saying that Tom deserves what he gets because he's black. Mayella would show no real concern for Tom because she acted out of selfishness.

The third entry could be written the night before the trial. She would mention that she actually took a bath for the event and how easy it should all go over because the case is based on two white people's testimonies over that of a black man's. She would probably mention that she is nervous to take the stand because she has heard that Atticus Finch actually cares about defending Tom honorably; but, she would brush those fears away thinking that a white man will support his kind in the end.

Finally, the fourth entry would be full of hate and animosity towards Atticus Finch for making a fool out of her father when he was on the stand. Then she would complain about how he made her cry and mocked her by calling her "ma'am" most of the time. She would also praise herself for saying the following:

"I got somethin' to say an' then I ain't gonna say no more. That ni**** yonder took advantage of me an' if you fine fancy gentlemen don't wanta do nothin' about it then you're all yellow stinkin' cowards, stinkin' cowards, the lot of you. Your fancy airs don't come to nothin'. . . Mr. Finch" (188).

Of course she would end by being overjoyed that the jury sided in her favor and didn't let Tom go. She would say that Tom deserved everything he got for being who he is.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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