Describe Miss Maudie Atkinson. Is she considered a typical Maycomb female? What do the children think of her?  

3 Answers

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Miss Maudie Atkinson is the one woman who Jem and Scout--and Atticus--can count on as a true friend in Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird." Unlike the unhappy morphine addict Mrs. Dubose and the gossipy Miss Stephanie, Miss Maudie keeps to herself except when a neighbor is in need. Then, she is a woman who can be counted upon. She speaks to Jem and Scout as equals without condescending to them as most other adults in Maycomb. 

She had never told on us, had never played cat-and-mouse with us, she was not at all interested in our private lives.

Unlike most of Maycomb's other townspeople, Maudie's friendship also extends to the town's black citizens.

The handful of people in this town who say that fair play is not marked White Only; the handful of people who say a fair trial is for everybody, not just us; the handful of people with enough humility to think, when they look at a Negro, there but for the Lord's kindness am I."

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gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Miss Maudie Atkinson is the Finches' witty, gracious neighbor who supports Atticus, Jem, and Scout throughout the novel. She is a positive influence on Jem and Scout, and they consider her their friend. Miss Maudie allows the children to play in her yard and she sits on her porch with Scout on summer nights while Jem and Dill play together. Like many of the women in Maycomb, Miss Maudie participates in the social activities throughout her community. However, she is not a gossip or a racist and is brutally honest with the children. Miss Maudie is a morally upright woman who also believes that African Americans deserve equal treatment. Unlike her prejudiced neighbors, Maudie supports Atticus' decision to defend Tom Robinson. After the trial, she even consoles Jem and Scout by offering them words of encouragement. Jem and Scout are very close with Miss Maudie and appreciate her friendship throughout the novel. 

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zumba96's profile pic

zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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She is a woman who also believes in the justice and righteousness that Atticus serves to represent. She is not the typical bossy or racist woman you would see, but in fact is someone who looks on the bright side of things. When her house caught on fire she didn't feel bad about why it happened, but instead looked on the bright side and tried to make the mood lighter.