Nelle Harper Lee is the author of the novel “To Kill A Mockingbird”. The title of the novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” carries a great deal of symbolic weight in the book. In this story of innocents destroyed by evil the “mockingbird” comes to represent the idea of innocence.
I believe that Mayella Ewell can be identified as a mockingbird who has been injured through contact with evil.
Firstly, Mayella Violet Ewell is 19 and a half years old. She is a thick bodied girl. She has seven brothers and sisters. She takes care of them because her mother was dead. Herfather is Robert E. Lee “Bob” Ewell. He does not work. Bob is an alcoholic that is why he does not help Mayella with raising the children. For example, Burris Ewell is a son of Mr. Ewell and a younger sibling of Mayella Ewell. He comes to the first day of school but Burris departs just like everyone else in their family does. Bob Ewell does not care for his children, including
Mayella because she went to school only two or three years. Mayella cleans the shack (a small plain building, usually made of wood or metal) and cooks the food for her siblings. Nobody likes the Ewells in Maycomb. In the hierarchy the Ewells are lower than the colored people in Maycomb. The family has a trash status as a Ewell, include Mayella. Also, Mayella does not have friends. For instance, when Atticus asked her if she had friends, but Mayella was surprised and told: “Friends? Who are they?”. Moreover, she is the loneliest person because Mayella does not have friends, mother and boyfriend.
Secondly, Mayella Ewell is a young girl. She desires a man. That man was Tom Robinson. He is a 25 year old black man. Mayella cooks up situation with Tom Robinson without bad intention. Mayella saved money for the whole year and that money she gives to her siblings and they go to buy ice-cream. On that day Mayella invites Tom Robinson inside the shack to repair something. And she kisses him but he does not kiss her back because he has a wife, Helen Robinson, and three children. That is why Tom runs away. Tom Robinson can not answer to her feelings. Nobody wants to be with Mayella because she is one of the Ewells. After that Tom Robinson is accused of assaulting and raping Mayella Ewell by Bob Ewell. Then Atticus Finch, a successful lawyer, defends Tom Robinson. When they were in the trial, Mayella told: “I got somethin’ to say an’ then I ain’t gonna say no more. That nigger younder took advantage of me an’ if you fine fancy gentlemen don’t wanta do nothin’ about it then you’re all yellow stinkin’ cowards, stinkin’ cowards, the lot of you. Your fancy airs don’t come to nothin’, Mr. Finch – “Then she burst into real tears. Why does not Mayella tell the truth about what happened? One reason is probably that she is scared of her father, who the evidence suggests has beaten and perhaps even sexually abused her in the past. Atticus gives another reason in his closing remarks: guilt at dong an “unspeakable” thing, “kissing a black man”.
Thirdly, in comparing Mayella to a child, Atticus brings together the two opposite ideas of womanhood: yes, he is saying, she is naive and weak, but she also feels guilty (it shows that Mayella has conscience that she did something wrong) of her desire for Tom, which s causing her to commit the crime of perjury. Mayella is dealing with her own self-hatred for having a desire that society tells her is wrong by saying that she is not the one with the desire, Tom is, and by destroying him the desire is destroyed. Or perhaps she does not see anything wrong with what she did, just that she got caught, and is how trying to do damage control with her father by saying whatever he wants her to say.
In summary, I think that Mayella Violet Ewell is a nice girl. She tries to do her best. But it is difficult for a young girl who does not have support of her father, mother (because she was dead) and society of Maycomb. Everybody in the Maycomb town thinks that to a Ewell is to have a trash status, include Mayella. That is why she is a mockingbird.