Examples Of Power In To Kill A Mockingbird

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If the only point defining power is the control one has over one's life or the lives of others, who has the most power? To Kill A Mockingbird revolves around the trial in which Atticus Finch defends Tom Robinson, a black man, accused of having raped a white woman, Mayella Ewell. Scout and Jem Finch, Atticus’ children, follow the case passionately and are inconsolable when their father loses the case. The case is lost simply because it was impossible for a black man to attain victory over a white in the South. This reveals racial prejudices still common among the white society in Maycomb Alabama in the 1930s. Based on class, gender and race Mayella has ultimate control over her life and the lives of others. Though Mayella’s class and gender deny her some power, her race ultimately makes her powerful.…show more content…
As a result of Mayella's low class she is isolated, lonely and socially inept. During the trial, while Atticus is questioning Mayella, she is taken aback by being addressed as ma’am or miss Mayella. She becomes frustrated and thinks she is being mocked when in reality Atticus is only treating her with the respect given in the courtroom. This shows Mayella has hardly ever been treated with respect, presumably a result of her low class. Also, as Mr. Gilmer is questioning Tom Robinson, he says he felt “ right sorry for her ” showing even a black man could elevate himself above Mayella
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