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In To Kill A Mockingbird, what does Miss Maudie think about Atticus?

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kadymarine4 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 3, 2009 at 6:06 AM via web

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In To Kill A Mockingbird, what does Miss Maudie think about Atticus?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 3, 2009 at 6:56 AM (Answer #1)

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Miss Maudie feels enormous respect for Atticus and strives to help Jem and Scout understand what a good and courageous man their father is. She points out to them that their father is the same in his home as he is on the public streets, Maudie's way of explaining to them the concept of personal integrity. 

After the heartbreak of Tom Robinson's conviction, Maudie explains to Jem and Scout their father's moral strength and courage:

. . . there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them . . . . We're so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we've got men like Atticus to go for us.

Maudie points out that Atticus was chosen specifically by Judge Taylor to take Tom's case for a reason: 

. . . I thought, Atticus Finch won't win, he can't win, but he's the only man in these parts who can keep a jury out so long in a case like that.

Maudie knows the children are too young to understand fully their father's integrity and moral character, but she knows they will one day. She speaks from her heart.

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted March 3, 2009 at 7:15 PM (Answer #2)

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While we are not told of Miss Maudie's feelings about Atticus until near the end of the novel, she allows us her insights through her conversation with Jem. She tells him that some men are ordained to do the unpleasant jobs that others won't touch, and that Atticus is one of those men. She also says that the "good" people of Maycomb actually support Atticus's defense of Tom Robinson rather than scorning his actions. Miss Maudie shows an overall attitude of respect and admiration toward Atticus, but it is her conversation with Jem that reveals her true, deeper feelings.

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