What was Mayella Ewell's role in To kill a MockingbirdWhat was her role

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jilllessa | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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In addition to being the girl who accused Tom Robinson and part of the infamous Ewell clan, Mayella Ewell was a girl who was trapped by her surroundings.  She was not like the rest of the Ewell clan.  She desired love and beauty.  She tried to grow flowers in the dump that was her home.  She schemed to get time alone with Tom so she could experience love.  It is a sign of how desperate she was for love that she would seek it with a Negro.  She just did not have the bravery to stand up and admit to the town what she had done.  She plays a major role in Scout's true coming of age because when Scout can recognize that Mayella must be the lonliest person in town, she is finally able to put on another person's shoes.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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She is the reason Tom is on trial.  Without the trial, Atticus can not be the center of attention in a racist community for defending an unpopular defendant. 

The trial is the conflict which allows the town's different characters to crawl out of the woodwork and perform for the reader...the way we get to see, hear, and watch them in order to understand the motives and the purpose of each thought, action, and spoken word.

In addition, we are not the only ones watching.  We are learning from Atticus just as Jem and Scout are. 

So, Mayella is responsible for the town's and the readers education on the wrongs of racism and prejudice.

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lizbv | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Mayella Ewell is the girl wo accused Tom Robinson of violently and sexually assaulting her.  However, according to Tom RObinson, it was actually Mayella who made an advance towards Tom and was upset that he denied her.  Her father walked in and saw what she was doing and beat her savagely.  He also apparently threatened her with more harm if she did not agree to accuse Tom RObinson of the advance and the beating. 

This event says much about the town and the mentality of many of its citizens in that the Ewell family was definitely looked down upon as a bunch of rough, violent, and uneducated people (as evidenced during Scout's first day at school), yet they still prevail over Tom Robinson in the trial because they are white.

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zara-aj | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 2) eNoter

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In addition to being the girl who accused Tom Robinson and part of the infamous Ewell clan, Mayella Ewell was a girl who was trapped by her surroundings.  She was not like the rest of the Ewell clan.  She desired love and beauty.  She tried to grow flowers in the dump that was her home.  She schemed to get time alone with Tom so she could experience love.  It is a sign of how desperate she was for love that she would seek it with a Negro.  She just did not have the bravery to stand up and admit to the town what she had done.  She plays a major role in Scout's true coming of age because when Scout can recognize that Mayella must be the lonliest person in town, she is finally able to put on another person's shoes.

technically she puts herself in another person's shoes first after the trousers incident in chapter 6. When jem was quiet and stuff. she put herself in his shoes and decided not to disturb him. she actually gains maturity in the sense that she finally found her own individual views toward sth that contradicts those of atticus'. Scout looks at mayella differently from atticus. She sees that the town is not doing enough for the ewells while atticus thinks the town is doing too much. She also sympatises for mayella and feels as if she is not just another ewell while atticus has once said that all ewells are the same.

:D

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