How does Harper Lee use humor to discredit Miss Stephanie's stories about Boo Radley ?thanx !

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dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miss Stephanie represents the type of person most people have experienced at least one time in their life but wish they didn't. You know the type, the one you try to avoid because their only agenda is to gossip about situations they no nothing about but claim to have 'all' the correct information. Harper Lee's purpose in Stephanie's character is to confirm to the reader just how ridiculous her assumptions are towards those who are different from the accepted 'status-quo'. Lee's humor is best recognized in the conversation between Stephanie and Miss Maudie. In short, according to Stephanie, Boo's strange behavior is confirmed by her belief that he is watching her in her bedroom. Miss Maudie's response to Stephanie suggests how ridiculous her statements are simply because of their ignorant pretense. When Miss Maudie responds to Stephanie suggesting that if her story is true, she should make room for him in her bed. Harper Lee combines the quickness of truth with just the right dose of wit to see that Miss Maudie's humor equaled 'checkmate'.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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