In To Kill a Mockingbird, what happened to Miss Maudie's house and what was her reaction?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In Chapter 8, Miss Maudie's house burns to the ground. According to Atticus, the house is all Miss Maudie had. Despite this fact, Miss Maudie is surprisingly optimistic, almost upbeat. She claims that with the old house gone, she can build a smaller house and have more room for her flowers. What is more surprising, and this shows how selfless Miss Maudie is, is that she doesn't wallow in her loss. In fact, she asks Scout about her encounter with Boo Radley the previous night (when the fire was burning).

Miss Maudie puzzled me. With most of her possessions gone and her beloved yard a shambles, she still took a lively interest in Jem's and my affairs.

Miss Maudie then tells Scout that she (Miss Maudie) was more worried about the commotion and possible distress the fire may have caused for other people. She's just thankful that the fire did not spread to other houses. This is another example of Miss Maudie's acute and optimistic perspective and it shows how she is always thinking of others.


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