Who is more responsible for Tom Robinson being falsely accused of rape: Bob Ewell or Mayella Ewell?

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One could argue that Bob Ewell and Mayella Ewell are equally responsible for Tom Robinson's wrongful conviction. Despite the fact that Bob Ewell beat his daughter and threatened her to corroborate his story, Mayella also lied on the witness stand and vehemently denied that her father was responsible for her injuries. Mayella was ashamed that she had been caught breaking one of society's unwritten laws by tempting a black man and had her own selfish interests in mind when she testified against Tom Robinson. Similar to her father, Mayella did not want her community to view her with contempt and wished to be exalted following the trial. While the reader can sympathize with Mayella's difficult home life and her situation regarding her alcoholic father, her false testimony accusing Tom Robinson of assaulting and raping her cannot be overlooked. Bob Ewell is also to blame for Tom's wrongful conviction because he threatened his daughter to corroborate his story regarding the events that took place on the evening of November 21st and also lied on the witness stand. Overall, Bob Ewell and Mayella Ewell are equally responsible for Tom Robinson's wrongful conviction because they both lied on the witness stand and used their white privilege to harm Tom.

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In a way, both Tom Robinson and Mayella Ewell are both victims.  Tom Robinson is guilty of no more than being a good neighbor, and feeling sorry for a white woman.  In Maycomb, feeling sorry for a white woman was a capital offense.

“And so a quiet, respectable, humble Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to ‘feel sorry’ for a white woman has had to put his word against two white people’s. (ch 19)

Mayella was an innocent girl, but she did accuse Tom Robinson.  As Atticus points out to the jury, Mayella behaved as a child.  She just tried to push the responsibility for her actions onto others.

She has committed no crime, she has merely broken a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. (ch 21)

However, if I was going to choose who was more responsible, it is definitely Mayella.  She is the one who cried rape.

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