Describe Miss Maudie and Scout's relationship with her. What insight do you think Scout gains from speaking to Miss Maudie about Mr Arthur?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Of all of Scout's neighbors, Miss Maudie Atkinson is her favorite. A widow like Atticus (the use of "Miss" is just a Southern use of respect from a child to an adult), Maudie "was our friend," according to Scout.

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

She also makes the best cakes in the neighborhood and always bakes small, individual ones for Jem and Scout.
She gives good advice, defends Boo Radley and Tom Robinson, and always speaks highly of their father, Atticus, with whom she also has a special rapport. As hard as Aunt Alexandra tries to make a lady out of Scout, she discovers feminine and ladylike behavior from Miss Maudie instead.

Miss Maudie tells Scout that

"I remember Arthur Radley when he was a boy. He always spoke nicely to me, no matter what folks said he did. Spoke as nicely as he knew how."

She also gives Scout background on Boo's father, a severely religious man and a "foot-washing Baptist." Scout slowly comes to realize that Boo is a confused young man, and not some kind of night-stalking monster.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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