I think this line should be said as though Mayella is angry but also as though she is quite nervous. She is scared that Atticus may uncover more flaws in hers and Bobs Ewells story. The ‘Him’ on the script is written in italics, so I made sure I emphasised this word. It’s emphasised because she is accusing Atticus and pointing him out directly as the thing she is scared of.
Mayella: I said, come here boy, and bust up this chaffarobe for me, I gotta nickel for you. So he came in yard an’ I went in the house to get him the nickel. An’ ‘fore I knew it, he was at me. He got me ’round the neck. I fought, but he hit me agin and agin.
At the beginning of this speech Mayella would be slightly nervous, but speak quite confidently. When it comes to ‘So he came in the yard..’ She will begin to sound more upset and the pace of the speech slightly slower. And then at ‘ An’ ‘fore I knew it..’ the pace of the speech picks up and her voice gets louder as Mayella gets even more upset but also slightly angered as she retells her story as convincingly as she can. The last sentence of the speech may also have some truth to it, and the upset and angered tone of her voice may show how she feels because ‘I fought, but he hit me agin and agin’ is partly the only true thing that did happen, not by Tom but by Bob.
Mayella: Won’t answer a word as long as you keep on mockin’ me
Here Mayella is speaking to Atticus. She is scared of him, and doesn’t want him to know the truth. She’s determined to hide everything from him. Because of this Mayella would say this line quite aggressively towards Atticus.
I used an accent throughout the piece. I found it quite easy because of the way the script is wrote, using words like ‘an” and ”agin.’ I also found using the accent helped to get into character and understand how things would be said, and how to use my tone of voice effectively. It made the character more believable.
My character of Mayella didn’t do lots of movement in the piece; this was because I made her movements as small as possible. I did this because I felt as though the character of Mayella didn’t really want to be at the court so wanted to feel slightly invisible. She didn’t want to stand out a lot.
Mayella sits watching Bob Ewell giving his evidence. Constantly staring at him, as though she is trying to take in everything he says, going over her story in her head. Immediately the audience can see she is scared and nervous about something. I decided to make Mayella shift about a bit when she got nervous about something Bob was asked. I tried to make this clear especially when Atticus makes Bob out to be left handed. Along with other characters sat by me I leant forward to see what was ‘so interestin” about Bob writing on the paper and tried to show the nervousness in my expression.
When Mayella is called up by Mr Gilmer to the witness stand I had to walk from where I was originally sitting to the witness box. I decided to walk quite slowly, looking down but making a small bit of eye contact with her father, Bob. I thought the eye contact was important because it is though Bob controls her. She knows she is only doing this for him. The reason why I made the character of Mayella not look at anyone else in the court was because she was nervous and knew she was going to have to lie in front of all the people there and couldn’t possibly make eye contact with them. I wanted to make this quite obvious so the audience could see from the beginning Mayella was scared and obviously hiding something and being controlled by Bob Ewell.
Once in the witness box Mayella was sat down. I did this to go along with the idea of Mayella not wanting to be there. She wanted to be as small as possible and not be seen. I made her gestures quite small and made sure the only person she had full eye contact with was Bob. At first I had Mayella quite slouched on the chair, looking down. When she is told to ‘Sit up straight’ she does so slightly, but continues looking at the floor. I had her shifting positions slightly on the chair as if she was uncomfortable. This was to show she wasn’t comfortable with the situation and feeling nervous about how to answer questions.
I made the fact she was very nervous obvious when Atticus asks Mayella ‘Was this the first time you asked him to come inside the fence?’ She doesn’t know what to give as her answer as she isn’t prepared for this question. So she shifts around and fidgets staring at Atticus, wanting to know how to answer it.
In this scene I played the part of Mayella. She was very nervous and anxious as she was about to give her testimony in court. At the beginning of the piece Mayella is sat down watching her father give his story. I made sure Mayella kept looking at him, trying to take in everything he said. She would feel quite tense so would sit up quite straight fidgeting with her hands and sometimes looking away from her father dropping her eye contact to the floor. I thought her fidgeting would get worse when Atticus began questioning Bob.
At first Bob is being questioned by Mr Gilmer who wasn’t very threatening, so Mayella felt quite relieved when Mr Gilmer said ‘That’s all. Thank you, Mr Ewell. ‘ She thought that was all the questioning he’d have to do, making it easier and she believed the court had nothing suspicious to question as Bob had not given anything away. So when Atticus wants to ask Bob Ewell questions she gets nervous and shift around slightly with a worried look on her face. This increases especially when Bob is made out to be left handed, raising suspicion.
Her nerves were shown even more when it was her time to stand in the witness box. I decided not to make eye contact with many people because she was scared and could only look at the person who was controlling her, Bob. I made Mayella speak as though she was unsure of her story at first like when she was saying where she was ‘On the porch. ‘ But she becomes more angered and irritated when Atticus starts asking her questions because he is very clever and could be the person to uncover the truth from the lies.