What are Miss Stephanie Crawford's views on Tom Robinson, the Finches, and the trial in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail's profile pic

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

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"That English Channel of gossip," Miss Stephanie Crawford was the "neighborhood scold" and authority of everyone's business in Maycomb. Most of the information that comes from the mouth of Miss Stephanie is about what other people do or say and, amazingly, she rarely gives the reader a glimpse of what she actually thinks. Her personal comments about any of the characters you mention above are virtually non-existent. Here are a few of the rare examples.

ATTICUS.

  • She comments that "he could be right dry sometimes." (Chapter 23)
  • She questions if Atticus was responsible for allowing Jem and Scout to sit in the Colored balcony. (Chapter 22)
  • She took "pleasure" in telling about Atticus' confrontation with Bob Ewell ( Chapters 22-23)

SCOUT.

  • She thinks and tells Scout that she won't ever become a lady until "'you start wearing dresses more often.'" (Chapter 24)

TOM ROBINSON.

  • She never comments specifically about Tom but does use the word "nigger."
mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, Miss Stephanie Crawford does not directly comment upon Tom Robinson's death; however, earlier in the narrative (Chapter 6), she does employ the pejorative term of n****r.

When Nathan Radley fires his shotgun and says that he shot at "a Negro" in his collard patch, Miss Stephanie makes a bad joke in reference to Mr. Nathan,

"Scared him pale. Says if anybody sees a white nigger around, that's the one." 

In Chapter 24, she taunts Scout at the Missionary Tea, asking her if she wants to become a lawyer after the Tom Robinson trial and Atticus's being spat upon by Bob Ewell. This taunt would indicate that, perhaps, she feels that Atticus should not have bothered to defend Tom. 
Also, in Chapter 25 Miss Stephanie, that "English channel of gossip" is quick to pass on the word that Mr. Ewell said that Tom's death "made one down and about two more to go." This eagerness to pass on such gossip indicates that she disapproves of Atticus's having defended Tom.

Sources:

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