January 11, 2017
Bob Ewell’s Mistreatment of Women Compared to Melissa Rosenberg’s Assault Story
In the novel,” To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, Bob Ewell takes on the role of the antagonist and is known to be a drunken, unemployed and disrespectful member of the Ewell family, which is the poorest family in Maycomb. Bob Ewell knowingly lies about the rape of his daughter Mayella, yet she keeps quiet about the truth out of fear for what her father might do. When she finally has the chance to come clean and vocalize what really happened, she continues with the false accusation. The results of not speaking out about the truth ends in death and harming of other children. In the case of Melissa Rosenberg, Melissa was groped and grabbed by an executive during one of her first jobs. Later on, she was asked by another assistant to stand by her in suing him for sexual harassment, which she had also experienced. Melissa declined out of fear for not being able to ever work in the film business ever again and kept quiet about everything that happened. Mayella’s case takes place in the 1930’s, whereas Melissa’s case came to light in 2017. The time period of both cases affects the outcome of the situation and because they didn’t speak out they both have to live with the consequences, guilt, and shame for not vocalizing the truth.
During the trial, Mayella chooses to keep quiet about what really happened between her and Tom Robinson because she is being sworn into secrecy by her father. Mayella is afraid that Bob Ewell will beat her again and how she will be shunned by the town for becoming intimate with a black man. In the 1930’s, there was a big segregation between white and black people. Those who break that segregation are looked down upon and disliked by the town’s people. For example, Mr.Dolphus Raymond is a white man who is married to a coloured female. Because of this, the town creates rumours and spreads gossip about him because of his “rebellion” against the order. "When I come to town, […] if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond's in the clutches of whiskey—that's why he won't change his ways. He can't help himself, that's why he lives the way he does" (Lee 229). Mayella defends her father when Atticus pursues her to admit that Bob is the one who hurt her because she knows that if she does not try to keep the truth hidden she will be beaten at home and looked down upon by Maycomb.
The trial takes place in the 1930’s, which is a very significant time when racism and division between black and white were taking place. Mayella tries to hug and become “closer” with Tom Robinson, which in this time is forbidden. Bob Ewell sees her do this and as soon as Tom Robinson has run off far enough, Bob beats Mayella. To get revenge on Tom and cover up the truth, Bob blames the beating on Tom and tells the sheriff that Tom raped her. Since the 1930’s was a time when only white men were on the...