I need examples in the text of To Kill a Mockingbird of how Miss Maudie helps Scout grow throughout the book.

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schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout doesn't have a mother, and although her relationship with Atticus is open and comfortable, the only women she has to talk with are Calpurnia and Miss Maudie before Aunt Alexandra arrives.  She turns more to Miss Maudie as Jem gets older.  Miss Maudie first teaches her about hypocrites and religion.  On these topics she says,

"There are just some kind of men -- who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results." (pg 45)

Miss Maudie also takes some of the fear concerning Boo Radley away from Scout. The children have blown his legend out of proportion, making him into a monster.  She refuses to call him Boo because his name is Arthur.  When Scout wants to know if she thinks Arthur is crazy, Miss Maudie feels that you can never know what goes on behind closed doors, but she wouldn't be surprised if he had gone a little crazy since he has been locked inside. Later, Atticus tells the children it is a sin to kill a mockingbird,  Scout does not understand what he means. She turns to Miss Maudie for an explanation.

"Mockingbirds dont' do one thing but make music for us to enjoy.....  That's why it is a sin to kill a mockingbird." (pg 90)

Another major influence she had on Scout was that she always pointed out how Scout should be so proud to have Atticus for a father.  When Scout approaches her with a question concerning her father's age and inability to do the things other fathers do.    However, when Atticus kills the mad dog, Miss Maudie tells her that he is the best shot in Maycomb. Scout doesn't understand why they never knew he could shoot, and why he never went hunting.  Miss Maudie explains Atticus's ideas to her:

"If your father's anything, he's civilized in his heart.  Marksmenship is a gift of God, a talent........I think maybe he put his gun down when he realized that God had given him an unfair advantage over most living things. "(pg 98)

After the trial, both children again turn to Miss Maudie to ask her why Atticus took the case. It had been really controversial, he had been called names, and he couldn't win the case.  She explains that Atticus is a good man with good Christian values.  He is the best representative of that kind of behavior for this kind of trial.

Miss Maudie was a powerful influence in Scout's life.  She was especially powerful in reinforcing Christian values and showing Scout how to be a good Christian and a loving person.  

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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