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To Kill a Mockingbird

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What Difference Does It Make?

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Does it make any difference in the novel whether Mayella is portrayed as having premeditated her seductive actions or as having acted without premeditation, on the spur of the moment?

A

Yes, it makes a difference. If Mayella planned to seduce Tom, that would make it less morally reprehensible for her to have given false testimony against him than it would have been had she acted on a sudden, random impulse.

B

No, it doesn't make a difference. If Mayella planned to seduce Tom, it would be equally reprehensible for her to have given false testimony against him as it would have been had she acted on a whim, momentarily carried away by desire.

C

Yes, it makes a difference. If Mayella planned to seduce Tom, the jury will likely believe Tom's version of events more than they otherwise would. Tom will be less likely to be convicted of rape because the jury will believe his testimony.

D

No, it doesn't make a difference. If Mayella planned to seduce Tom, it won't affect the outcome of the trial and it doesn't change or impact the novel's characterization of Mayella, Tom Robinson, or the rest of the Ewell family.

E

Yes, it makes a difference. If Mayella planned to seduce Tom, it would show that she had transgressed the racial prohibitions of her day even worse than if she had just been momentarily carried away by desire.