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Mayella is a victim. During the court case Scout calls her the "loneliest" person in the world. She is a product of her upbringing. Her father abuses her in the worst way imaginable and she has absolutely nobody to confide or talk to. The only person that gave her any kindness happened to be a poor black man. On the other hand Mayella knew she was taking this same kind man's life away. She could see, in front of her, the pain she was causing. She was protecting her father, the father who causes her so much pain. He is the father who violates and beats her almost daily.