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To Kill a Mockingbird : Discuss Your Opinion Of The Ewells.

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To Kill a Mockingbird : Discuss Your Opinion Of The Ewells The Ewells play a significant part in this story of "To Kill a Mockingbird". In the first chapter, Scout mentions the Ewells to us that the "Ewells started it all". Scout means that the Ewells had an affect on the residents of Maycomb. The story will involve an allegation of rape and the way black and white issues (the prejudice that runs through the whole of the story) are covered. Burris Ewell, the son of Bob Ewell, shows how bad his living conditions are. He has head lice and is very dirty. Scout describes him as: "He was the filthiest human I had ever seen. His neck was dark gray, the backs of his hands were rusty, and his fingernails were black deep into the quick". He does not care that he is dirty or he has head lice. He cannot read, write or spell his name. He has no mother and Mayella Ewell brings him up. From the very beginning of the story, the Ewells are portrayed badly. Scout learns from her father that she had to go to school but the Ewells do not. Atticus explains that the Ewells are not regular people and this goes back three generations: "None of them (Ewells) ...read more.


In his questioning by Atticus we learn that Mr. Ewell does not call a doctor, as he cannot afford the five dollars. We learn that Mayellas's black eye was on the right hand side and Mr. Ewell was left-handed. This is Atticus' defense for Tom Robinson, as he cannot use his left hand. Mayella Violet Ewell is called to the stand and she starts to cry to get sympathy from the court. We learn a lot about her lifestyle, background and that she "tried to keep clean". She is the oldest of the seven children. We learn that her father spends his relief money on drinks and that she and the children have to cut up types in winter for their shoes. We also learn that there is not enough food. She is very lonely and that makes the court have sympathy for her. Mayella does not know how to reactant when Atticus keeps on calling her "miss" and "madam"! "I wondered if anybody had ever called her Miss Mayella in her life; probably not, as she took offence at routine courtesy." When Atticus questions her she appears quite nervous and is not quite nervous and is not quite sure of her story. "No I don't recollect if he hit me. ...read more.


An example of this is when Atticus is questioning Heck Tate about what happened to Mayella after the rape had been reported. Atticus asks the sheriff if he had called a doctor and he replied "No". This just shows us how he trusted Mayella despite not having any physical evidence. Due to the abolishment of slavery there is no longer a clear distinction between the lower class whites and blacks and it is because of this that the Ewells felt threatened by the blacks. The verdict was inevitable as the history of slavery meant that the jury was always going to find Tom guilty and Mayella the victim. Whichever way he acted he would have been found guilty in the eyes of white people. If he tried to defend himself against a white woman's advances the situation would be seen to be of his making and therefore his fault. If he ran as he did it would be taken as an admission of guilt. He was in an impossible position. I think the author took the easy way out in dealing with a difficult character, Mr. Ewell. The Ewells are simply reacting to how people and life has treated them. Perhaps after Mr. Ewell's death there will be light and hope for the future. "Mayella's flowers at the Ewell residence can now begin to flourish". ...read more.

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