In what ways would it be fair to say that Mayella Ewell was as much a victim of Maycomb society as Tom Robinson
First of all I have to say that both were treated unfairly and were judged by the society when no one bothered to get to know them. Tom was judged because he is black and Mayella was judged because to the whites she is no better then the Negroes and, even though she lives in their area, to the Negroes she is no better than the whites.
Mayella’s home life was no better than her social life because she was left to care for her siblings and did all she could with the amount of money she had, while her father would spend his benefits on alcohol and couldn’t hold down a proper job.
Soon Mayella had found someone else to help her. When she finds that Tom Robinson doesn’t take her money I think she jumps on this wagon and starts to take advantage of him. As he does all these helpful jobs for Mayella it seems to dawn that this was the closest she would have for a friend.
Mayella faced a hard time with her mother’s death and her fathers drinking. Her father would rape her and beat her when he felt like it or when he was drunk. Also she would try to educate her siblings with her knowledge bearing in mind that she didn’t have much. She would try to keep them and their hovel in order.
In the book Scout had felt sorry for Mayella Ewell saying that she was probably the loneliest person in the world because of the way she would never be accepted.
Tom Robinson was probably the only person who was ever really decent to her. Because of this she needed someone and she ended up trying to seduce a black man and but is found by her father who curses at her and beats seven shades out of her. She was forced by her father to go and while it was her father who’d been the one beating her she still went along with it instead of standing up for herself and telling the truth.
Tom Robinson was more of a victim because when he tried to help Mayella all he got was a fresh slap in the face over and over till he put himself out of misery. When Mayella Ewell tried to seduce him and was caught he knew there was no point in a lawsuit and knew that he would die.
With everyone in town thinking he was guilty and badmouthing him in front of the Negroes and in front of Atticus it looks like everyone has decided to judge without knowing the story. The Negroes are respectful to Atticus for the taking the case even though most of them know that it is pointless. Everyone is against him and are willing to kill him over the word of a man who has never done a decent days work in his life and in the end Tom commits suicide.
In conclusion I don’t think Mayella Ewell was as much a victim of Maycomb society as Tom was because she didn’t have to commit suicide in the end. So I still think Tom was the one who was forced to save himself with only one option.