In To Kill a Mockingbird, characterize Mayella Ewell.

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Mayella Ewell's life is tragic. Forced to live with a father who physically, mentally, and sexually abuses her, she looks to Tom for the hope of something a little more beautiful in life. None of the Ewell children are educated, and Mayella is no exception. Her mother has died, and...

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Mayella Ewell's life is tragic. Forced to live with a father who physically, mentally, and sexually abuses her, she looks to Tom for the hope of something a little more beautiful in life. None of the Ewell children are educated, and Mayella is no exception. Her mother has died, and after realizing how violent Bob Ewell is, some inferences can certainly be made that Mayella's violent father could have been responsible for her mother's death.

Because her racist father catches her making advances toward Tom, she has to pay a heavy price. Not only does Bob beat his daughter for her actions, but Mayella is then forced to place the blame on Tom for her injuries.

She did the wrong thing, certainly. Accusing an innocent man of beating and raping her and effectively sending him to his death is immoral.

However, Mayella is a nineteen-year-old girl with no support system. She realizes that no one is coming to help her. There is not a single person in her metaphorical corner in life, and she knows that if she doesn't use her time on the stand to accuse Tom of these crimes, she will have to answer to her father—again—when they get home. Bob Ewell proves himself to be a murderous man in the end of the novel, and Mayella no doubt realizes the intensity of his anger firsthand.

She thus makes a desperate attempt to save herself and sacrifices Tom to do so. Is she a noble character? Not by a long shot. But she does elicit some pity, as her choice is made because of the depth of isolation she must feel in her life.

The reader can hope that with her father's death at the end of the novel, Mayella reaches some new form of peace and is able to forge a new and better path for herself moving forward.

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Mayella has the great misfortune to be a member of the notorious Ewell clan, a family hated and despised throughout Maycomb for being lazy, no-good, "white trash". A young woman of nineteen, Mayella, like the other members of her family, is poor, ignorant, and without any real prospects in life. To make matters worse, she's firmly under the thumb of a violent and abusive father, who, as well as beating her on regular occasions, also subjects her to sexual abuse.

Whichever way you look at it, Mayella leads a dog's life. As she appears to have no mind of her own, and as she's scared of what her father Bob might do to her if she doesn't comply with his requests, she goes along with his scheme to point the finger at Tom Robinson and accuse him of beating and raping his daughter.

During Tom's trial, Mayella shows herself to be thoroughly dishonest on the witness stand, spinning all kinds of lies about what allegedly happened on that fateful day. Under Atticus's expert cross-examination, her story falls to pieces and she quickly loses her composure. It's clear that Mayella lacks the intelligence to make her story convincing.

None of this makes any difference to the trial's outcome, however. Mayella is white, and Tom is black. And in 1930s Alabama, that's all matters. As soon as Mayella opened her mouth to accuse him of rape, Tom's fate was sealed.

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Mayella is Bob Ewell's oldest daughter, who is nineteen years old and responsible for raising her seven siblings by herself. Mayella lives a difficult life and is forced to endure her abusive, alcoholic father. Mayella is extremely poor, has absolutely no friends, and has very few redeeming qualities. In chapter 18, she is called to the witness stand to testify against Tom Robinson. Mayella is depicted as a manipulative liar as she blatantly tells the jury the fabricated story of how Tom Robinson assaulted and raped her. During her cross-examination, her terrible home life is revealed and she begins to contradict her story once Atticus starts to ask her pressing questions. Scout views Mayella as the loneliest person in the world, who is ashamed of breaking the time-honored social code of her society by tempting a black man. Mayella is not only ashamed of herself for kissing Tom Robinson but also fears her father's wrath.

Despite being a victim of circumstance and displaying her gentle nature by taking care of her red geraniums, Mayella is a heartless, cruel individual, who is willing to send an innocent man to the electric chair to save face. Mayella's fabricated testimony and callous nature portray her as a malicious, selfish woman, who was raised by the most despicable man in Maycomb and inherited many of his wicked qualities. While the audience sympathizes with her terrible home life, Mayella is unapologetic and determined to use Tom Robinson as a scapegoat to preserve her "integrity."

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Mayella Ewell was the nineteen-year-old daughter of Bob Ewell.  Her mother had died many years before.  Mayella was in charge of caring for the Ewell home and her younger brothers and sisters.

In the midst of the squalor of the Ewell home, Mayella seemed to appreciate beauty and order.  The Ewell family lived in poverty.  Their home was on the edge of the dump.  Their yard was filled with piles of trash and cast off items.  Despite this, Mayella tended to her flowers:

One corner of the yard, though, bewildered Maycomb.  Against the fence, in a line, were six chipped-enamel slop jars holding brilliant red geraniums, cared for as tenderly as if they belonged to Miss Maudie Atkinson, had Miss Maudie deigned to permit a geranium on her premises.  People said they were Mayella Ewell's (To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 17).

In chapter 18, Scout watched Mayella as she took the witness stand.  Scout observed that Mayella looked frail, but in reality she "was a thick-bodied girl accustomed to strenuous labor."  Mayella seemed emotional, but Scout noted that her confidence was "like a steady-eyed cat with a twitchy tail."

Mayella was not accustomed to being treated like a lady.  Tom Robinson showed her kindness, and she later falsely accused him of rape.  During the trial, Atticus spoke to Mayella in a polite, respectful manner.  She thought that he was mocking her.

In Chapter 19, Scout observed Mayella further.  She thought that Mayella must be "the loneliest person in the world."  She did not have any friends.

 

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