Could you tell me about about Atticus, Mayella, and Bob Ewell during the trial? Please reply as soon as possible... thank you for your help

Expert Answers
missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In describing Mayella, on the first page of chapter 18 Lee says of her,

"she seemed somehow fragile-looking, but when she sat facing us in the witness chair she became what she was, a thick-bodied girl accustomed to strenuous labor... Mayella looked as if she tried to keep clean, and I was reminded of the row of red geraniums in the Ewell yard."

These descriptors demonstrate that Mayella maybe lived in a circumstance that was certainly not of her choosing. She seems as if she wanted to be feminine, but had to play a role that gave her great work. She made effort to be presentable and fit as best she could the definition of "woman" but unfortunately, that wasn't really possible.

Her responses in the courtroom further demonstrate an inability to endure common courtesy, something a regular Southern woman would handle quite well. When Atticus used "ma'am" and "Miss Mayella" she took it offensively. She had practiced her responses and got confused between the truth and lies. This is a lonely girl, who due to her father's poor choices lacked friends, intellect and love.

Robinson was as honest as he could be. Chapter 19's first paragraph describes Tom with these words:

"Thomas Robinson reached around, ran his fingers under his left arm and lifted it. He guided his arm to the Bible and his rubber-like left hand sought contact with the black binding. As he raised his right hand, the useless one slipped off the Bible and hit the clerk’s table."

Tom's obvious flaw is that he is a cripple. In this circumstance his flaw should arise as a benefit. But the jury doesn't seem to see it that way.

Trial chapters are 17-20 if you want to dig for some good quotes.

gabbym | Student

This quote by Atticus helps to illustrate how the Ewells, especially Bob Ewell takes advantage of being white. “The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box.  As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it - whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash” (chapter 23) During the trial, Atticus illustrates that it is probable that Bob Ewell is the one who really beat Mayella. In Macomb society, Bob Ewell is considered lower class but we get a clear sense that the color of ones skin is even more powerful. The quote also clearly demonstrates Atticus' sense of morality, of right and wrong.

sinweichuen2001 | Student

The man (Bob Ewell) had to have some kind of comeback, his kind always does. So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that's something I'll gladly take.

Atticus learns to respect everyone, even Bob Ewell, and puts himself in their shoes. He understands Bob Ewell and selflessly put himself in humiliation to protect Mayella and the “house full of children” from another beating.

ssanchez1997 | Student

Atticus Toward Mayella: Atticaua starts to act casual towards Mayella he wants her to get used to the satnd.
At the end he is more straght forward fast andformal.


Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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