When Bob Ewell is killed by Boo Radley, and the sheriff convinces Atticus that Radley should not be indicted, we are meant to understand Ewell's death as an optimistic sign of social progress ahead.Tags: Help Writing A DissertationBusiness Plan Template For Financial AdvisorsDrug Addiction In EssaySample Business Plan For Non Profit OrganizationEssays On Quality AssuranceDissertation WordsOnline Essay GradersDate De La Foire De Lessay 2011Rough Set Thesis + Doc
By pointing to Tom Robinson's "withered" left hand, Atticus proves that Tom is physically incapable, due to the location of her injuries, of having beaten Mayella on the day in question.
And as Atticus forcefully asserts in his closing summation, the beating that Mayella testifies that she received from Tom Robinson in the course of being raped in fact came from her father after he witnessed Mayella make a pass at Tom, which Tom , Atticus Finch is the opposite father figure to Bob Ewell in every respect.
As such, in her first manuscript Harper Lee appears as a novelist whose burgeoning political imagination had not yet been reshaped by the demands, and subsequent effects, of literary success begins as the story of a white woman, 26-year-old Jean Louise Finch, returning home to Maycomb, Alabama, from New York City, to visit her aging father, Atticus Finch, a prominent local lawyer.8 Unlike is firmly and self-consciously set in the time of its composition, the late 1950s.
After settling in to her ordinary home routines, including Sunday church with her family, Jean Louise at first thinks nothing of it when her father and his associate (also her suitor) head off to a "political meeting" at the courthouse that Sunday afternoon.
The beating that Mayella suffers at the hands of her father is no minor incident in the story; it is, rather, the exculpatory evidence that ought to free Tom Robinson.
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When Sheriff Heck Tate arrived at the scene of the supposed crime, he noticed that Mayella had injuries along the right side of her face, a fact that Atticus draws out during Tate's examination at trial.
While they are gone, Jean Louise learns that the meeting is for the county chapter of the Citizen's Council, a network of segregationist groups throughout the south that actively sought to maintain the regime of Jim Crow.
Since her father had structured Jean Louise's moral compass for her whole life (had been, in the language of the story, her inner "watchman"), and since Jean Louise could not align herself with the beliefs in racial difference that characterized her region (born "color blind," as the novel puts it), the realization of her father's unexpected moral descent throws her into an existential tailspin, which accounts for most of the story that follows.
Whereas Atticus's middle-class professionalism goes hand-in-hand with liberal politics and virtuous child-rearing, Ewell's rural white poverty appears to go hand-in-hand with violent racism and vicious child beating. "What did your father see in the window, the crime of rape or the best defense to it? ( implying that in his show of mercy, Taylor recognized the expression of an essential, and thus unaccountable, moral character determined by an inextricable cohesion of familial blood and class status.
But in , the authoritarian figures of Atticus and Uncle Jack reveal that the white professional men of the Finch clan are hardly less thuggish at heart than Bob Ewell of Old Sarum.10 When confronted with Atticus's tone under cross-examination, Mayella strikes back as if her own life depended on it: "Who beat you up? Why don't you tell the truth, child, didn't Bob Ewell beat you up? The narrating Scout further observed: "I never saw anybody glare at anyone with the hatred Mayella showed when she left the stand and walked by Atticus's table" (, Mayella is the white woman forced to conform to her father's racism, and by giving testimony she knows to be false, she causes the suffering, and eventual death, of Tom Robinson.