What are two examples of stereotypes in Chapter 5 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

1 Answer

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Old Mr. Radley, Boo's father, as well as a group of other "foot-washers" encountered by Miss Maudie, are presented as  stereotypical ultra-conservative Christians in Chapter 5 of To Kill a Mockingbird. Mr. Radley is a hard man and a "foot-washing Baptist"--not "just a Baptist" like Miss Maudie. He believes in the literal translation of the Bible and that

"... anything that's pleasure is a sin."

They criticize Maudie's love of flowers because she takes too much pleasure in them. These foot-washers had

"... told me me and my flowers were going to hell... They'd burn right with me. They thought I spent too much time in God's outdoors and not enough time inside the house reading the Bible."

Scout had trouble understanding this kind of representation of Miss Maudie, who was a good Christian and "loved everything that grew in God's earth." Scout could not envision Miss Maudie "stewing forever in various Protestant hells," and Maudie's description of Mr. Radley helped understand the pressures that were put upon Boo by his father.