What does Miss Maudie feel towards the Finches in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miss Maudie is an old friend of the Finch family, having grown up near Finch's Landing. She is "nearly the same age" as Atticus's brother, Jack, and she still carries on a joking repartee with him concerning matrimony.

... every Christmas he yelled across the street for Miss Maudie to come marry him. Miss Maudie would yell back, "Call a little louder, Jack Finch, and they'll hear you at the post office. I haven't heard you yet!"

Maudie loves Jem and Scout, baking them cakes and allowing them to have the run of her yard. Scout feels so comfortable with Maudie that they often sit together on her porch on summer evenings. Maudie talks with Scout as if she is an adult and always answers her questions faithfully. Although Maudie and Aunt Alexandra are not close, Alexandra is thankful for Maudie's defense of Atticus at the Missionary Circle party.

She gave Maudie a look of pure gratitude, and I wondered at the world of women.

As for Atticus, Maudie recognizes him as the man people in Maycomb go to when they have a problem. She expresses her respect and support of Atticus to both Jem and Scout following the trial of Tom Robinson, telling Jem that

"... some men in this world were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them.
"... We're so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we've got men like Atticus to go for us."

Maudie reminds Scout that Atticus always acts the same to people on the street as he does to his own family inside his house, something that she remembers when she tries to soothe Dill after he becomes upset with the prosecutor's treatment of Tom. Scout puts it simply but succinctly about Miss Maudie:

She was our friend.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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