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To Kill a Mockingbird: Chapter 18

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by

Emma Caswell

on 9 November 2014

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Transcript of To Kill a Mockingbird: Chapter 18

Characters
Plot
Theme
Fear controls the mind
Setting
- taken place in the Maycomb

Mayella Ewell: In this chapter, the reader learns how Mayella Ewell is becoming more and more fearful of her father's presence. Throughout her time in the stand Mayella frequently looks at her father. Mayella is afraid to admit what actually happens goes on in the confines in of their home. When Atticus is questioning Mayella about her father’s drinking, she tries her best to cover it up except when she slips and says, “
he does tollable ‘cept when
” (Lee 245) Atticus catches this and continues to question her on this. Mayella tries to avoid the question but in the end when Atticus asks, “
except when he’s drinking
” (245) Mayella replies by nodding her head. Mayella Ewell is guarded because she is afraid of what of what her father may do when they get home.

Judge Taylor: In this chapter the readers learn that Judge Taylor sympathizes with the people in the stand. When Mayella has to recount what happened to her that night and breaks down, “
Judge Taylor let her cry for awhile, then he said ‘that’s enough now. Don’t be ‘fraid of anyone here, as long as you tell the truth
” (240). Judge Taylor sees that Mayella is having a hard time and tries to comfort her.

Literary devices
Imagery: An act of imagery given in this chapter, is when Mr. Ewell is described to have “
a scalded look; as if an overnight soaking had deprived him of protective layers of dirt, his skin appeared to be sensitive to the elements.
” (Lee,239) This makes the readers visualize Mr. Ewell to be dirty as if he has not bathed in a while.



To Kill a Mockingbird: Chapter 18
Mayella Ewell is called up to the stand to testify against Tom Robinson.


This theme is relevant to the chapter because Mayella is scared to speak her mind to the courtroom when she is in the stand testifying her case. When Atticus is asking Mayella whether or not Mr. Ewell is a drinker or not, “
Mayella looked at her father [Mr. Ewell], who was sitting with his chair tipped against the railing. He sat up straight and waited for her to answer
” (Lee, 245). Once Mayella answers that he is not an alcoholic, “
Mr. Ewell leaned back again.
” (245) Her fear towards her father's actions cause her to think over what she should tell the courtroom.


Chapter 18 takes place in the Maycomb County courtroom. The mood inside this courtroom is very serious. The readers pick up on this after Judge Taylor makes a joke and, “
Judge Taylor was the only person in the courtroom who laughed. Even the babies were still
” (Lee, 249). This hints that everybody in the courtroom is intent on hearing what come next in the hearing.

She asks Tom Robinson to bust up some old chiffarobe, that “he [Tom Robinson] had me [Mayella Ewell] around the neck and hit me agin an’ agin he chunked me on the floor an’ choked me’n took advantage of me” (Lee, 241). After this Atticus continues to ask Mayella questions about her home life to paint a picture for the jury about how poor her home life is. Scout picks up on Atticus’ tactic thinking, “Atticus was quietly building up a picture of the Ewells’ home life. The jury learned the following things: their relief check was far from enough to feed the family, and there was strong suspicion that Papa drank it up anyway” (244). After this Atticus asks Tom Robinson to stand up and everyone in the courtroom sees that, “his [Tom Robinson] left arm was fully twelve inches shorter than his right, and hung dead at his side.” (248) This then proves that Tom Robinson couldn't have really done these horrible things to Mayella. The conflict within this chapter fulfills how Mayella’s dilemma is to testify truth

Personification: Personification is represented through this chapter when Mr. Gilmer keeps asking Mayella about what happened with her and Tom Robinson. But, after she had explained her views upon the situation “
Apparently Mayella’s recital had given her confidence, but it was not her father’s brash kind: there was something stealthy about hers, like a steady eyed cat with a twitch tail.
” (Lee,242) This is represented as personification since Mayella is not actually a steady eyed cat with a twitchy tail, but compared to one.

Pathetic Fallacy: An act of pathetic fallacy is represented through the tense situations during this chapter. As well as a heated session in the courtroom, Reverend Sykes describes “
the temperature was [as] an easy ninety
” (Lee,252) As the temperature changes the atmospheres upon the characters moods
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