In To Kill a Mockingbird, characterize Mayella Ewell.

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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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To Kill a Mockingbird

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