Mayella may, or may not, be lying through her teeth. Describe how she tries to manipulate the jury and the whole situation to her benefit, especially when asked by Atticus about her treatment at the hand of her father.
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Mayella is lying. Through her false accusal she's able to gain her own identity in a world where she was no one, which in addition to the fear she feels from her father supports her decision to lie. Having been beaten and most likely sexually abused by her father, Mayella has nothing more to lose.
Mayella is a child, but not an innocent. her innocence was lost long before and not by her own doing. Circumstances not withstanding, have led her to do the unthinkable. Her blatant sexual attraction to Tom Robinson was calculated; therefore not the acr of an innocent, and what she did was heard throughout the courtroom when Atticus said in his closing remarks," guilt at doing an “unspeakable” thing, “kiss[ing] a black man” (20.45.
Even then, I don't believe she felt guilt. Atticus considers her actions to be those of a child, whereas I see her as manipulative.
“She did something every child has done – she tried to put the evidence of her offense away from her. But in this case she was no child hiding stolen contraband: she struck out at her victim – of necessity she must put him away from her – he must be removed from her presence, from this world. She must destroy the evidence of her offense. "What was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson, a human being.” (20-43-44)(Atticus)
Whether her false testimony is born through fear of her father or shame for having done something shunned by society she continues to purjure herself.
To Kill a Mockingbird