Miss Maudie Atkinson plays a significant role in the lives of Jem and Scout Finch, particularly as her presence and relationship with the children pertains to the development of their values and ethics. Miss Maudie, who does not hesitate to tell her opinion, often teaches the children valuable lessons in her honest, insightful way.
"I simply want to tell you that there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them...you are not old enough to appreciate what I said...We're the safest folks in the world...We're so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we've got men like Atticus to go for us...Did it ever strike you that Judge Taylor naming Atticus to defend that boy was no accident? That Judge Taylor might have had this reasons for naming him?"
Miss Maudie addressed the children directly, giving them the chance to comprehend the truth and to question what she told them. In addition to instructing Jem and Scout in matters that are not addressed elsewhere, Miss Maudie often reinforced the teachings of their father. For example, when Atticus instructs the children to refrain from shooting mockingbirds due to the creatures' innate goodness and beauty, Miss Maudie agrees and basically repeats Atticus's reasoning.