What does the reader learn about Miss Maudie through her description of Fundamentalists and Arthur in To Kill a Mockingbird?If there are any quotes from the novel that can back this up it is much...

What does the reader learn about Miss Maudie through her description of Fundamentalists and Arthur in To Kill a Mockingbird?

If there are any quotes from the novel that can back this up it is much appreciated.

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shake99 | Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Miss Maudie Atkinson is one of the more positive characters in To Kill a Mockingbird. This is shown in what she tells Scout about the Baptists and Arthur Radley.

In chapter 16 we see that she is not afraid of the Baptists and their opinion of her in the following exchange. The Baptists, looking at Maudie’s lawn, which was “ablaze with summer flowers” see Miss Maudie in the yard and shout,

He that cometh in vanity departeth in darkness!

Apparently the Baptists believe that Maudie is motivated by vanity in her yardwork. Miss Maudie, however, is not to be intimidated by narrow mindedness, and she shouts back,

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance!

Miss Maudie’s response demonstrates that she is biblically informed and not the kind of person who can be messed with.

In chapter 5, Scout is talking with Miss Maudie, who she obviously admires. Her curiosity about Arthur (Boo) Radley gets the best of her and she begins to pester Miss Maudie with questions. Miss Maudie’s answers reveal her sympathy and understanding for Boo. The following quotation demonstrates that sympathy.

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.

Miss Maudie’s words show that she is similar to Atticus in her tolerance of others. She is not swayed by the closed mindedness of religious fanatics or neighborhood gossips.

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