In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, how do the children react to Mayella's testimony?

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mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout pitied Mayella.  She found Mayella to be ignorant, and she knew that she was poor.  In fact, everyone in the Ewell family was poor.  Scout seemed to be the most moved out of the three children by Mayella's story.  Dill and Jem yawned when Mayella finished testifying.  They did not react otherwise.  

When Atticus began questioning Mayella, he treated her with politeness.  He addressed her as he would any lady.  Scout observed that Mayella may have never been treated in such a respectful way before.  Mayella was offended by the polite words Atticus used.  She thought he was making a mockery of her.  Scout knew her father well.  She knew that he treated everyone with respect.  Mayella was no different.  As she listened and watched, Scout "wondered if anybody had ever called her 'ma'am,' or 'Miss Mayella' in her life; probably not, as she took offense to routine courtesy" (To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 18).  When Mayella was finished speaking, Scout "discovered that [she] had been sitting on the edge of the long bench."  

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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