What did Scout conclude about Mayella Ewell in relation to Boo Radley in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

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jilllessa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During the trial, Scout developed a great deal of compassion for Mayella Ewell.  She concludes at the beginning of chapter nineteen during Tom Robinson's testimony that:

"Mayella Ewell must have been the loneliest person in the world.  She was even lonlier than Boo Radley who had not been out of the house in twenty-five years"

Scout came to that conclusion because during her testimony, Mayella had not even seemed to understand the concept of friendship or love.   She saw the cracks Mayella had slipped through.  Whites and respectable folk wanted nothing to do with her because her family was trash.  Black people wanted nothing to do with her because she was white.  Even Boo had understood the concept of friendship and had reached out to befriend Jem and Scout by leaving gifts in the tree, fixing Jem's pants, and bringing Scout a blanket on the night of the fire.  Mayella had no concept of what friendship or love meant.  When she did try to reach out for human contact, she did so in an inappropriate sexual manner.  Evidently that was the only way she knew how to reach out.  Obviously Scout did not see the matter in such depth, but she saw and understood the loneliness felt by Mayella.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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