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Examples Of Atticus's 'Lies In To Kill A Mockingbird'

Decent Essays

During Atticus’s cross-examination with Mayella Ewell, the reader can infer that she is lying and trying to hide the truth. Right when Mr. Gilmer started to question her, she started “burst[ing] into tears.” After she dried her tears, “she twisted her handkerchief into a sweaty rope” and when it was opened, it was “a mass of creases” from her sweaty hands. (pg. 241) A person who is not truthful often sweats and fidgets. Mayella twisted her handkerchief (which is a form of fidgeting) and when she opened it, it was crumpled when she opened it from the sweat from her hands. Later, when Atticus questions her if she loves her father, it is said that Mr. Ewell was “sitting with his chair tipped against the railing,” (pg.245) in other words, leaning forward as if to make sure that Mayella would not give any of the truth away. …show more content…

Ewell finally “lean[s] back again,” as if satisfied with her answer. Later, she expresses a micro-expression, as many people who are lying tend to do, where she revealed her true feelings about her father when she nodded and agreed with Atticus that when Mr. Ewell drinks, he is intolerable. A person nodding is “a tell” to determine that someone is lying and not telling the full truth, so when Mayella nodded at Atticus, this could mean that she thought her dad was intolerable while drunk, and maybe even harmful to others, possibly even her. Next, Atticus asked her if Mr. Ewell ever hurt her; however, when asked she “looked around” and did not answer the question right away. She stalled on her answer as if she was thinking about whether to reveal the truth or

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