What impact does Miss Maudie have on the children's life in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Miss Maudie has an especially strong impact on Scout's life, teaching her the ways of the world from the point of view of a woman not as deeply entrenched in traditional southern notions of womanhood as other women, such as Scout's aunt.  Also, Maudie has known Atticus for a long time, and therefore can explain certain things about him (such as his ability to shoot) that no one else would.  Maudie is outspoken, has values similar to those of Atticus, and can bake fine cakes to boot, all three attributes comprising a type of nourishment that the children need.  Here's an example:  Not long after the trial, Scout is participating in a missionary ladies' party that her aunt gives, and Miss Maudie is there.  Scout is called upon to act "like a lady" in ways she abhors,...

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