What are some philosophies and dreams of Miss Maudie in To Kill a Mockingbird?I think I know a dream, but I'm not sure on the philosophies. Please help!

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miss Maudie is a morally upright person, who shares similar philosophies with Atticus Finch throughout the novel. Miss Maudie believes that it is important to protect innocent, defenseless beings and values equality. In chapter 10, Miss Maudie agrees with Atticus's assessment that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. 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." (93)

Mockingbirds symbolically represent innocent, defenseless beings, and Maudie's feelings about protecting them reveal one of her philosophies in life. She believes that it is important to protect vulnerable, innocent people.

Miss Maudie also enjoys gardening and being outside. However, the religious fanatics known as "Foot-washers" continually criticize her for being outside and working in her garden. When they pass Maudie's home and criticize her for being outside, Maudie responds by saying,

"A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance." (161)

Maudie's response gives insight into another one of her philosophies, which concerns being independent and cheerful. Maudie is rarely in a bad mood throughout the novel and spreads joy whenever she gets an opportunity. She does not gossip or argue with anyone, and is an independent woman. Maudie believes that one should do whatever makes them feel fulfilled and happy regardless of other people's opinions.

Following Tom Robinson's trial, Miss Maudie bakes several cakes for the children and offers encouraging words to cheer them up. Maudie also tells the children,

"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 baby-step, but it’s a step." (220)

Maudie's philosophy and belief that every citizen should be treated equally is revealed in her comments regarding the outcome of the Tom Robinson trial.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A widow (formerly married to a man named Atkinson), Miss Maudie is probably the most independent women in To Kill a Mockingbird, living in her big house and tending to her precious garden. When her house burns down, she tells Scout that she

"... hated that old cow barn. Thought about settin' fire to it a hundred times myself, except they'd lock me up."

She is worried more about the other houses in the neighborhood going up in flames, and she plans on rebuilding a smaller house, so she will have more room for her plants outside. One of her greatest desires is ridding her yard of nut grass, which she likens to "an Old Testament pestilence." She has great faith in Atticus, who she claims is a man who was "born to do our unpleasant jobs for us." She assures Jem that the people of Maycomb are

"... the safest folks in the world... We're so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we've got men like Atticus to go for us."

Maudie hopes that Atticus's defense of Tom Robinson, and how long he is able to keep the jury deliberating, will be a "baby step" for Maycomb's race relations.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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