Miss Maudie Quotes

What are quotes from Miss Maudie that show she is a motherly figure for Jem and Scout? Also, what are quotes that show she is not the "regular" Maycomb Southern lady?

Miss Maudie is portrayed as a motherly figure when she comforts Scout during the missionary circle. Scout recalls the situation by saying, "Miss Maudie's hand closed tightly on mine, and I said nothing. Its warmth was enough."

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A quote that shows that Miss Maudie is not a "regular" Maycomb lady is the following exchange she has with Mrs. Merriweather at a missionary society tea. The tea is hosted by Aunt Alexandria in the Finch home, but Mrs. Merriweather nevertheless makes oblique comments aimed at Atticus about "misguided"...

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A quote that shows that Miss Maudie is not a "regular" Maycomb lady is the following exchange she has with Mrs. Merriweather at a missionary society tea. The tea is hosted by Aunt Alexandria in the Finch home, but Mrs. Merriweather nevertheless makes oblique comments aimed at Atticus about "misguided" folks who have stirred up the local Black community. Mrs. Merriweather is referring to Atticus's strong defense of Tom Robinson, which has caused her personal inconvenience by making the "help" "surly:"

“His food doesn’t stick going down, does it?” Miss Maudie said it. Two tight lines had appeared at the corners of her mouth.

...

“Maudie, I’m sure I don’t know what you mean,” said Mrs. Merriweather.

“I’m sure you do,” Miss Maudie said shortly.

Miss Maudie embarrasses Mrs. Merriweather, who is voicing the "regular" opinion of most of the white ladies that the Black community must be kept in its place. Miss Maudie does so by pointing out that Mrs. Merriweather is eating Atticus's food while at the same time insulting him. Miss Maudie is showing she knows exactly who Mrs. Merriweather is referring to as "misguided," and she is angry because she believes Atticus did the right thing, and she is refusing to let Mrs. Merriweather get away with the dig. The other women might be annoyed at Atticus, but Miss Maudie is not.

Miss Maudie shows her motherly side in being a person Scout can confide in. Miss Maudie shows her motherliness when she takes the time to tell Scout all about Boo Radley's father, a hard man who developed a religious faith that believed all pleasure was a sin. She ends the conversation as follows:

Gracious child, I was raveling a thread, wasn’t even thinking about your father, but now that I am I’ll say this: Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets. How’d you like some fresh poundcake to take home?

The quote shows Miss Maudie's nurturing tendency to make cakes for the children, and also how seriously and frankly she speaks to Scout. In noting that Atticus is the same wherever he is, she is pointing out his integrity and helping to guide Scout in what is the best way to act and be, as a mother would.

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Miss Maudie is portrayed as a morally upright, progressive woman, who acts as one of Jem and Scout's surrogate mothers by offering them support during trying times. Miss Maudie is a positive role model in the children's lives and they cherish their friendship with her.

One scene that depicts Miss Maudie as a motherly figure takes place in chapter 10 when she elaborates on Atticus's life lesson regarding mockingbirds. Miss Maudie tells the children,

"Your father’s right...Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird" (Lee, 93).

By sharing her knowledge with Jem and Scout and explaining the valuable lesson of protecting the innocent, Miss Maudie is helping to shape and guide the children, similarly to how a mother would. During Aunt Alexandra's missionary circle, Miss Maudie recognizes that Scout is feeling uncomfortable and awkward. She shows her support and comforts Scout by gently squeezing her hand. Scout recalls the situation by saying,

"Miss Maudie’s hand closed tightly on mine, and I said nothing. Its warmth was enough" (Lee, 234).

Her decision to comfort Scout, offering her assurance via a simple gesture, is yet another example of Miss Maudie acting as a mother figure.

Unlike the majority of Maycomb's citizens, Miss Maudie has progressive views and believes in racial equality. As such, she supports Atticus's defense of Tom Robinson and offers his children words of encouragement following the trial. Miss Maudie's perspective on the outcome of the trial demonstrates her individuality and proves she is not the typical Maycomb resident:

"I waited and waited to see you all come down the sidewalk, and as I waited I thought, Atticus Finch won’t win, he can’t win, but he’s the only man in these parts who can keep a jury out so long in a case like that. And I thought to myself, well, we’re making a step—it’s just a babystep, but it’s a step" (Lee, 219).

Overall, Miss Maudie is a unique character with progressive views, which sets her apart from her more conservative, prejudiced neighbors. Like Atticus, Miss Maudie is not afraid to voice her opinion and is an important figure in Jem and Scout's lives.

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In the summer time, Miss Maudie calls out to Jem, Scout and Dill from her porch when she has made cakes for them, calling the children by name and telling them to "come here!" 

This is a rather familiar, if not entirely motherly, thing to do. 

Also, Miss Maudie sits with Scout on nights early in the book when Jem and Dill are spending time in their tree house.

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Miss Maudie imparts great wisdom and exemplifies her sound values when, after the burning of her house, she replies to Scout's question, "You ain't grievin' Miss Maudie?"

"Grieving, child?  Why, I hated that old cow barn.  Thought of settin' fire to it a hundred times myself, except they'd lock me up....Don't you worry about me, Jean Louise Finch.  There are ways of doing things you don't know about.  Why, I'll build me a little house and take me a couple of roomers and--gracious, I'll have the finest yard in Alabama.  Those Bellingraths'll * look plain puny when I get started."

*The Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile are resplendent: 65 acres of 250,000 azalea bushes and more than 10,000 plants and flowers.

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Miss Maudie treats Jem and Scout as if they are young adults, and she is disgusted at the ridiculous gossip in town, even among her peers. When the "foot-washing Baptists" come by and scorn her for tending to her flowers, she does not wilt or feel condemned; instead she quotes Scripture right back at them. That is the epitome of independence, it seems to me. Page numbers are not particularly helpful here because different editions have different page numbers. 

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Miss Maudie was a "chameleon lady who worked in her flower beds in an old straw hat and men's coveralls, but after her five o'clock bath she would appear on the porch and reign over the street in magisterial beauty."

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