What is Stephanie Crawford's presentation and development as a character? What is her purpose in To Kill a Mockingbird?I have to talk about this subject for 4-10 miutes.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miss Stephanie Crawford's primary purpose in To Kill a Mockingbird is to provide information--mostly gossip--to supplement the story's exposition and Scout's narrative. Miss Stephanie supplies most of the children's facts and rumors about Boo Radley in the early chapters, and she claims to be one of the few people to have actually seen him when he peeked in her bedroom window at night. She is the first to tell the children about Nathan Radley's shotgun blast on the night they made their raid to the Radley porch, and she is the first to notice that Jem is not wearing pants. She was also witness to Bob Ewell's tobacco-spitting attack on Atticus, supplying the children with facts about everything from Bob's threats to Atticus's calm retort.

Miss Stephanie tends to repeat any news she hears, whether it is true or not, and Miss Maudie reminds the children that most of the tales about Boo are "three-fourths colored folks and one-fourth Stephanie Crawford." Unlike Miss Maudie, who the children trust implicitly, Miss Stephanie is a "neighborhood scold" who angers Scout at the Missionary Circle tea when she makes several jokes at Scout's expense. Miss Stephanie is also one of the unenlightened members of Maycomb, a woman who uses the "N" word frequently and who considers it scandalous when Jem and Scout join Reverend Sykes in the "Colored balcony." She is close friends with Aunt Alexandra, who nevertheless tells the children that

... Miss Stephanie Crawford's tendency to mind other people's business was hereditary...

and that

No Crawford Minds His Own Business.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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