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Why does Atticus save Miss Maudie's rocking chair in Chapter 8 of "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

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delizane | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 18, 2009 at 7:04 AM via web

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Why does Atticus save Miss Maudie's rocking chair in Chapter 8 of "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

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

Posted March 18, 2009 at 9:50 AM (Answer #1)

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As Miss Maudie's house is burning, Atticus dashes to the rescue, and in the process, retrieves her rocking chair from the blaze. His reasoning may have had something to do with symbolism: The chair itself was symbolic of Miss Maudie's persona -- whenever Miss Maudie was thought of by other characters, she was almost always pictured sitting in that rocker. It was like a crucial part of her, and this recognition is what spurs on Atticus's action.

Miss Maudie later comes to accept the house fire with an air of dignity, and even humor, telling Scout that she would have burned the place down herself, had she not feared being hauled away to the asylum.

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lauraa-rajah | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 23, 2012 at 7:54 AM (Answer #2)

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Atticus saves Miss Maudie's oak rocking chair because it was what she chrished and valued most. 

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