In To Kill a Mockingbird, how does Miss Maudie treat the children? Describe their relationship. 

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An independent spirit, Miss Maudie, who is the close neighbor of the Finches, treats Jem and Scout most respectfully. Much like their father Atticus she responds to their questions reasonably, yet simply so that they can understand; in addition, she sets an example of charity for others. In Chapter 5, for example, when Scout asks about "foot-washing Baptists" Miss Maudie keeps her answer succinct and simple without invective. In another instance, Scout inquires about Boo Radley's remaining in his house, Miss Maudie tells her that they should respect Boo's choice to be reclusive. Further, she appeals to Scout's sympathy so she will be kinder,

"...that is a sad house. 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."

It is to Miss Maudie that the children often go for explications, knowing that she will be objective. Further, she sets an example of inner strength; for example, when her house burns, Miss Maudie remains positive and does not break down. Instead, she continues her motherly ways with the children, baking cake for them and always listening to them respectfully and responding to their worries, as well. After the trial of Tom Robinson, Scout hears Miss Maudie praise her father as the man who does when others have been afraid to do the right thing. In Chapter 24, Scout overhears Miss Maudie tell Aunt Alexandra of the Maycomb citizenry,

They're perfectly willing to let him do what they're too afraid to do themselves....Whether Maycomb knows it or not, we're paying the highest tribute we can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It's that simple."

Clearly, Miss Maudie sets an example that is stellar.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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