Describe the relationship between Scout and Miss Maudie Atkinson.

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mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miss Maudie Atkinson and Scout Finch are neighbors.  Over time, they become friends.  Scout likes Miss Maudie because she talks to her like she is an equal instead of as a child.  Miss Maudie offers Scout mature insights into the problems she faces.

Dill and Jem begin to exclude Scout from their activities.  Jem mocks her for being a girl.  Feeling rejected, Scout starts spending time with Miss Maudie.  Until that time, "she was only another lady in the neighborhood, but a relatively benign presence" (To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 5).  Previously, Miss Maudie had been friendly to the children and let them roam around on her property.  Scout notes that "Jem and Dill drove [her] closer to [Miss Maudie] with their behavior."  

Scout enjoys sitting on Miss Maudie's front porch.  Together, they talk and observe nature.  Scout feels that she can confide in Miss Maudie.  Scout asks Miss Maudie about Boo Radley, and the older lady answers her questions with honesty.  Scout knows that she can trust what Miss Maudie tells her.  She admires Miss Maudie, and calls her "the best lady [she] know[s]."  Scout also notes other reasons why she trusts Miss Maudie as a friend:

Jem and I had considerable faith in Miss Maudie.  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 was our friend.



missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miss Maudie is like a mother figure to Scout. Scout enjoys visiting with Miss Maudie particularly when the boys get a little older and begin doing boy things that she can't be a part of. Miss Maudie imparts Scout with wisdom especially in regard to Atticus. Maudie makes clear that Atticus always has the best intentions for his children AND that he is the moral and upstanding character that the town looks toward to do the right thing.

Although near the beginning of the story it seems as if Miss Maudie is a neighbor the kids enjoy taunting, by the end we see a relationship developed enough between Maudie and Scout that only gestures are necessary to communicate. This is clear at the Missionary Society Tea as folks who would like to criticize Atticus or mock Scout don't get away with it as Maudie gives terse but polite reactions in defense or a squeeze of Scout's hand as if to say, "keep your emotions under control". Although Maudie could never be a mother to Scout, she certainly teaches Scout some things about being a woman and respecting her father that Atticus just can't teach on his own. Maudie is a true mentor.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout has a friendly relationship with her compassionate neighbor Miss Maudie Atkinson. Miss Maudie is not only a positive role model, but also Scout's faithful companion. Miss Maudie takes time out of her day to sit on her porch with Scout and keeps her company while Jem plays with Dill. Scout learns about Boo's background from Miss Maudie and can always trust that Maudie will tell her the truth. Maudie also allows Scout and her brother to play in her yard and routinely bakes them delicious cakes.

Scout considers Maudie a close friend and can always rely on her for comfort in difficult times. During the missionary circle, Miss Maudie calms Scout by grasping her hand when the other ladies make her feel uncomfortable. Miss Maudie also supports Atticus's decisions and encourages the children after their father loses his case. Overall, Scout and Miss Maudie have a close, friendly relationship, and Scout appreciates everything that Maudie does for her and Jem throughout the novel.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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