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When Atticus calls Mayella Ewell "Miss Mayella" and "ma'am," she feels he is disrespecting her. Why?

 

chera g #137761
May 13, 2011 9:16 AM

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When Atticus calls Mayella Ewell "Miss Mayella" and "ma'am," she feels he is disrespecting her. Why?

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Aslan
May 13, 2011 9:52 AM

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Mayella feels that Atticus is making fun of her. Although Mayella is white, she is a Ewell and is considered in very low esteem by the community. Nobody has treated her with that kind of respect. Mayella doesn't quite know how to handle being addressed in a respectful manner.
 

tracey l #96417
May 26, 2011 3:38 AM

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Mayella has very little understanding of polite, ordinary society and is quite limited in her understanding of relationships. We can see this in the way she has tried to engineer a 'relationship' with Tom Robinson. When Atticus addresses her with such courtesy, Mayella can only interpret his intention as cruel and derogatory - it is how she is treated by every other white man, after all.
 

annie a #356373
Feb 08, 2014 4:47 PM

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It's part of Atticus' job as a lawyer!
 

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