Mayella Ewell Character Analysis

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While at the trial, Scout states: “...it came to me that Mayella Ewell must have been the loneliest person in the world.” (Chapter 19, pg 211)
Is Mayella Ewell a character worthy of compassion?

In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the dubious character Mayella Ewell, left readers divided as to whether she was a character deserving of sympathy. Although she was despised by many due to her role in falsely accusing a black man of rape, her inconsiderate actions were justified, as they were performed based on fear. Ultimately, it was the poor girl’s family background and the appalling treatment she received by the society that allowed her to be a character worthy of readers’ benevolence.

Mayella’s unfounded accusation against an innocent black
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Bob Ewell was, without a doubt, one of the least respectable people in Maycomb. He was infamous for his disgusting personality and aggressive nature of which Tom Robinson’s case depicted precisely. Through Atticus, readers found out that Mayella’s gruesome injuries were not from Tom but from her very own father. The actions of tempting a Negro was deemed by the Maycomb society as utterly disgraceful, so when Bob witnessed his daughter committing that very own degrading act, he felt ashamed and mortified. For that only, he threatened her, saying: “You god-damn whore, I’ll kill ya”, and then proceeded to bash and choke her, leaving her severely injured and close to dying. The novel also hinted that it was not the first time Bob had assaulted Mayella, because when Atticus questioned Mayella in court as to whether she had been beaten by her father before, she hesitated and looked around first, before claiming that she had not. But since all her other answers were quick and prompt, it suggested to readers that she has in fact been beaten by her father before but she was not able to tell the court that, due to being afraid of what her father would do to her after the case. Tom’s testimony gave another implication that Mayella was in fact, a victim of abuse by her father, he said that Mayella told him “...she never kissed a grown man before...what her papa do to her don’t count”. Which indicates to readers that she was not only physically wounded, but sexually too. With no friends to confide to, the poor girl had to endure all the physical, emotional and sexual abuse all by herself. So imagine how terrified she would have been when she went up to the witness stand right after her abusive father gave his testimony. She had already been severely bashed by him because she committed an act that embarrassed him, so there was definitely terrified of

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