To Kill a Mockingbird

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http://www.studymode.com/essays/Mayella-Ewell-Character-Analysis-1335805.html Character Sketch

Among the trash and cast-off clutter in the Ewell yard, there's one spot of beauty. Mayella "Against the fence, in a line, were six chipped-enamel slop jars holding brilliant red geraniums, cared for as tenderly as if they belonged to Miss Maudie Atkinson, had Miss Maudie deigned to permit a geranium on her premises. People said they were Mayella Ewell's." The geraniums show that Mayella wants to be better than her surroundings, wants to make something bright in her dull world, and wants to strive for higher things. Although, whatever Mayella's hopes and dreams are, she doesn't get a chance to express them to the reader, for she appears only at Tom's trial. At the trial, she has to perform a role: the poor innocent white woman attacked by the evil black man, who must be protected by chivalrous white men – rather than a desperate, lonely teenager who actually desires the black man. Mayella's a Ewell, and everyone knows what the Ewells are like: poor, shiftless, and trashy – they even live by a dump. But when she takes the stand, “she seemed somehow fragile-looking” (179). She was scared of what would happen to her if anyone found out she was lying. The questioning became too much and she started cry at certain times and didn’t answer some of Atticus’s questions. The crying showed her emotional and fragile side of her. The fact that there was a bigger, more powerful being forcing her to act a certain way scared her, she was also scared of what would happen if they didn’t win the case. Mayella was already abused by her father and could easily be abused again if she wasn’t convincing enough. "I got somethin' to say an' then I ain't gonna say no more. That nigger yonder took advantage of me an' if you fine fancy gentlemen don't wanta do nothin' about it then you're all yellow stinkin' cowards, stinkin' cowards, the lot of you. Your fancy airs don't come to nothin'—your...
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