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In the Harper Lee novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, there is no doubt that Miss Mayella Ewell is a pathetic character who deserves pity. She is a product of her poverty stricken environment. She has learned to interact socially from and ignorant and abusive father. Consequently it is not surprising that when she seeks Tom Robinson’s help, she turns it into a sexual issue as her sexuality is the only means of power she has. She has no way of learning differently as she is one of those “Ewells”, so any attempt to rise above her situation will be squelched by the community and upstanding citizens of Maycomb. Even if she could stand up to the citizens, she cannot stand up to her violent father, and that is why she takes the out of accusing Tom of attempted rape when it was she who made the pass.
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