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After the fire is over, how does Miss Maudie feel about the destruction of her house?...

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whs14 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 17, 2010 at 10:43 AM via web

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After the fire is over, how does Miss Maudie feel about the destruction of her house? What does this tell you about her character values ?

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anthonda49 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted November 17, 2010 at 11:21 PM (Answer #1)

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When her house is destroyed, Miss Maudie does not mourn over her loss. The things she lost were just possessions which could be replaced. She was glad no one was hurt and that the fire did not spread. She was a pragmatic character who knew the value of life over the value of possessions. Life continued, and it was a blessing. The most important thing to her was the outpouring of care and help offered by her neighbors even to Boo Radley wrapping a blanket around a cold child at the scene.

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gpane | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 15, 2015 at 5:24 PM (Answer #3)

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Miss Maudie does not seem to mind the loss of her house very much, if at all.She  does not bother over-much about material possessions. What really matters to her is that no-one was hurt or killed in the fire.  This shows that she is a morally upstanding person who values the truly important things in life. She is one of the relatively few truly decent, humane and enlightened characters in the novel. 

Miss Maudie's attitude to her house shows how unconventional she is by the standards of Maycomb society. Earlier it is stated plainly that 'Miss Maudie hated her house; time spent indoors was time wasted' (chapter 5). She prefers to spend time working diligently in her garden, dressed in men's overalls. She actually welcomes the prospect of having a smaller house where there will be more space for her treasured flowers.

Miss Maudie's preferred environment and choice of clothes shows that in many ways she is very far from the usual type of genteel lady in Maycomb, who generally like to dress in finery and to attend to housekeeping matters. Yet Miss Maudie does not repudiate the image of the traditional lady entirely. For instance, she still attends missionary teas, a staple of social life for the ladies of Maycomb. She still acts in the dignified manner of a lady when it really matters. It is just that she places less emphasis on outward appearances than other Maycomb ladies, is much more honest and direct, and the traditional feminine occupation of housekeeping seems to bore her. We should remember too, that she lives alone; she is a widow with no family to cater for.

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