The novel To Kill A Mockingbird,written by Harper Lee in 1960, was one of the most influencing books inAmerican history. To kill A Mockingbird was about a growing out of age girl,scout and her brother Jem experiencing racism and its darker effects in theirsociety. This book displayed many virtues of Socrates. One of the keycharacters in the main plot of the story is Mayella Ewell. She was a whitefemale that put a black male in trial because she accused him of rape.
Mayellashowed a lack of virtue of justice because she didn’t fulfill her duty oftelling the truth, upholding Tom Robinson’s rights to a fair trial anddisplayed many bad morals. Mayella didn’t uphold justice because she swore to the court to onlytell the truth during the trial. “As she raised her hand and swore that theevidence she gave would be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but thetruth so help her god…” (234). she didn’t obey the court rules andstill accused Tom Robinson of raping her. She knew her chances of winning sincethe trail was a court filled with white jury. Tom had no chance of winning thecase.
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Therefore, he got sent into jail. Since even the trashiest whites werestill more powerful than the blacks, Mayella took away the life of an innocentmen because she didn’t want to put herself at stake. Mayella pretended thatshe didn’t remember anything. “I don’t know how he done it, but he done it- Isaid it all happened so fast.” (249).
This was her excuse of not wanting totell the truth. She had no idea that what she did was unacceptable. Because ofher actions, she put an innocent man in jail. In order to convict Tom, the juryhad to believe or try to believe that the poor girl was taken advantage of,rather than to see her as a girl that was the one that actually took advantageof him. She put a men at risk because of her own stupidity. She wanted everyoneto see woman as helpless victims that needs protection. She knew that blackswould not have the chance of winning because if someone tried to help or stepin, they would be in big trouble.
Everybody in town knewthat the Ewells are trashy, ugly and selfish. They live by the dump and wereconsidered as “White Trash”. But, when Mayella stood in court, she turned intosomething completely different. “No, I don’t recollect, if he hit me. I meanyes I do, he hit me” (248). When Mayella stood in court, she was able to usethe privileges of a white southerner. If she told the real truth, she wouldn’thave ruined Tom’s life.
Her father, Bob Ewell was a drunk. He spent all hisgovernment checks instead of taking care of his family. Despite of everythingelse, he physically abused Mayella. Mayella couldn’t tell the truth because hewould do something to her. Since she took advantage of Tom, Bob Ewell used hisown privileges too as a white men. He was still considered to be above TomRobinson, so he used him to get his own benefits. He got fame after the trialand hoping he could use that to gain money.
Mayella grew up seeing her father’sbad morals and learned from his actions. Mayella didn’t have any power againsther father. But she realized she had power by making advances towards Tom. Through her attempt, she cost a men’s life.
Mayella showed a lackof justice because of her poor choices. She didn’t uphold Tom’s rights to afair trial, fulfill her duty of telling the truth in court and revealed badmorals. She was influenced by the society around her and her father set bad examplesfor her. She just wanted to feel like she was not completely helpless, but heractions caused her a big consequence.
In our society, I have seen many examplesof Mayella’s relationship with her father. Many kids in this world are stillliving in abusive homes. They feel powerless and helpless just like Mayella.
Many of them have abusive parents and they have no power to do anything aboutit except to accept that this is their life. Therefore, they learned many badmorals from their parents and applied it to our society. Usually, they are thebullies, criminals, thieves, etc. Because of their childhood experiences, theywanted to feel like they have power. Mayella was one of those people andbecause of how her father treated her, she wanted to experience the rights ofbeing a white. So she used her opportunity by using her powers against Tom.