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To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee

THE STORY

PART TWO

CHAPTER 18

Now it is Mayella's turn to take the witness stand.

Mayella testifies that one day she was sitting on her porch when Tom Robinson happened by and she offered to pay him a nickle to break up an old piece of furniture into kindling wood. Instead, Tom followed her inside the house, grabbed her around the throat, beat her up, and raped her.

Throughout her testimony Mayella is very nervous. She seems afraid of Atticus, and thinks that when he calls her "Miss" he is trying to make fun of her. It is obvious that Mayella is not used to being treated politely.


Mayella breaks down in tears as she describes her desperate struggle with Tom. After she is finished speaking, Atticus asks Tom Robinson to stand up. Everyone present can see that his left hand is useless and mangled, the result of an accident years ago. It is difficult to imagine how Tom could have fought in the way Mayella described.  

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