Miss Stephanie Crawford
Who is Miss Stephanie Crawford and what is she like?
Miss Stephanie Crawford is an older woman, 60-ish, who has never been married and loves to gossip. She is first introduced in the first chapter and we learn most of what we know about her in the early chapters. It is from Miss Crawford that the children have learned most of the outrageous stories they've heard about Boo Radley. Much of what Miss Crawford has told the children is not true or is an extreme exaggeration. In chapter 5, when the children ask Miss Maudie if she thinks the stories about Boo Radley are true, she responds with, "That is three-fourths colored folks and one-fourth Stephanie Crawford." Miss Crawford is a woman with a little extra weight on her also. In chapter 8 when Scout and Jem build a snowman with the rare snowfall, Scout comments that its fatness makes it resemble Miss Stephanie somewhat. Essentially, Stephanie Crawford is the type of person most people know not to listen to. They know that she is a gossip and that her information is either completely untrue or it is very exaggerated. She likes to over-dramatize situations and she likes the "Wow" factor she gets from people if she tells them something.
Miss Stephanie Crawford is one of the Finches' neighbors and is labeled the neighborhood scold throughout the novel. Miss Stephanie Crawford is the most notorious busybody in Maycomb and is the source of the majority of Jem's fantastical stories about Boo Radley. She shares information concerning Boo's traumatic childhood with Jem and swears that Boo only leaves his home at night to peep into people's windows. Throughout the novel, Miss Stephanie shares gossip concerning the Tom Robinson trial and witnesses Bob Ewell spitting in Atticus's face. While many of the citizens receive their information from Miss Stephanie, Miss Maudie openly rebukes her several times for her uncouth behavior. Miss Stephanie is also relatively ignorant and shares the community's prejudice towards African Americans. As Scout develops into a morally upright individual, she gains perspective and is able to perceive Miss Stephanie as an uninformed gossip who simply enjoys being the center of attention.