To Kill a Mockingbird

Mayella Ewell 12th Grade

In the coming of age novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee portrays many characters in various ways, but none more insidious than Mayella Violet Ewell. Mayella is the story’s boldest antagonist. She is a static character who undergoes no inner change throughout the story, although is one of the most influential characters. This character demonstrates imprudent and inequitable actions, such as accusing an already maltreated, innocent black man of raping and assaulting her. Mayella acts in such a disgusting and unjust manner because her father has compelled and provoked her to do so. Mayella is a misled, immoral, motherless child who is beaten by her alcoholic father, Robert Ewell. In an attempt to attain power in a shabby, pitiful, existence, Mayella costs an impeccable man his life. Despite the sympathy one feels for Mayella Ewell, her sinful choices and decisions cause her to be portrayed as fraudulent, compulsive, and cowardly toward some of the most charitable citizens in Macomb County.

Mayella Ewell illustrates herself as fraudulent when she repeatedly bursts into tears with an attempt to attain people’s pity or because she is aware that the validity of her responses are questionable- "Mayella stared at him and burst...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 2035 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10939 literature essays, 2736 sample college application essays, 793 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in