In To Kill a Mockingbird, where in the book does Mayella admit that it was her father that abused her?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mayella never admits that her father was responsible for the assault on her that landed Tom Robinson in court. Atticus asks her directly if "Bob Ewell beat you up," but she swears to the jury under oath that he did not, and that Tom was responsible (251). She bursts into tears and shouts at Atticus and the others in the court, accusing them of cowardice for failing to deal with her attacker. It is clear, though, that Mayella and her father are lying, at least about Tom's attempted rape. Later in the book, Atticus surmises that Ewell's continued rage over the trial, even Tom was convicted, stems from the fact that "very few people...really believed his and Mayella's yarns," but he never acknowledges that it was in fact him that beat and injured Mayella after catching her trying to force herself on a frightened Tom. By the end of the novel, of course, Ewell is dead, never having admitted the truth. His daughter Mayella does not recant her story either.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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