Summary of To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

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Summary of To Kill a Mockingbird Mayella testifies next, a reasonably clean nineteen-year- old girl who is obviously terrified. She says that she called Tom Robinson inside the fence that evening and offered him a nickel to break up a dresser for her, and that once he got inside the house he grabbed her and took advantage of her. In Atticus' cross-examination, Mayella reveals that she has seven siblings to care for, a drunken father, and no friends. Then Atticus examines her testimony and asks why she didn't put up a better fight, why her screams didn't bring the other children running, and--most importantly--how Tom Robinson managed the crime with a useless left hand, torn apart by a cotton gin when he was a boy. Atticus begs her to…show more content…
Mr. Gilmer goes over Mayella's testimony, accusing Tom of lying about everything. Dill begins to cry and Scout takes him out of the courtroom. Commentary If Bob Ewell is villainous, his daughter is pitiable, and their miserable existence almost allows her to join the novel's parade of innocent victims--she, too, is (up to a point) a kind of mockingbird. Lee's presentation of Mayella emphasizes her role as victim--her father beats her and possibly molests her, while she takes care of the children and so lacks kind treatment that when Atticus calls her Miss Mayella,she accuses him of making fun of her. She has no friends, and Scout seems justified in thinking that she "must have been the loneliest person in the world." Even Atticus pities her. Mayella's victimization is marred by her attempt to become a victimizer, to destroy Tom Robinson in order to cover her shame. We can have no real sympathy for Mayella Ewell--whatever her sufferings, she inflicts worse cruelty on others. Pity must be reserved for Tom Robinson, whose honesty and goodness render him supremely moral. Unlike the Ewells, he is hardworking, honest, and has enough compassion to make the fatal mistake of feeling sorry for Mayella Ewell, a white girl. His story is clearly the true version of

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