In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Mayella Ewell appears to be evil but people argue whether she is really an evil character or she is just a character who has no choice but to do evil things. Although Mayella is not present throughout the entire novel, the majority of her personality and life is revealed to the reader in the courtroom where she condemns a good-natured, innocent black man to his death. Tom Robinson is accused of raping and beating Miss Ewell because Mayella does not have the courage to admit to her actions of trying to seduce a black man or the courage to speak the truth against her father’s wishes.
And because of what she did, Mayella Ewell is an evil character because she is cold-hearted, and she ruined and destroyed Tom Robinson’s life. Atticus said that he pities Mayella but “my pity does not extend so far as to her putting a man’s life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt” (271). The quote proves that Mayella is really evil because she is cold-hearted, she’s willing to put the innocent man, Tom Robinson’s life at stake just to get rid of her guilt and to cover up the crime that she did.
She did not care about Tom Robinson who was truly the victim, her victim, she only cared about herself. Atticus also said that “she tried to put the evidence of her offense away from her. But in this case she was no child hiding stolen contraband: she struck out at her victim-of necessity she must put him away from her- he must be removed from her presence, from this world” (272). Tom Robinson’s life got annihilated and he died for no reason just because of what she did. And Mayella’s actions prove that she really is evil.
Although Mayella Ewell was only present in To Kill a Mockingbird for a short time, it is easy to tell how truly abused, isolated, and sensitive this girl was. But that does not mean that she can destroy somebody’s life just to get rid of her guilt. Mayella was truly unlikeable to not only the reader but to other characters. She destroyed Tom Robinson’s life just to cover up the crime that she did, and she struck out at her victim just to put the evidence of her offense away and because of that she fits the definitions of evil.
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