In "To Kill a Mockingbird" why do the children have faith in Miss Maudie?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The text states, in chapter five, that the reason they had faith in her was that "she had never told on us, had never played cat-and-mouse with us, she was not at all interested in our private lives."  So, she is what kids like:  unobtrusive, loyal, and not a tattle-tale.

Also, Miss Maudie has always been kind to them, has a really funny, blunt, and moral perspective on things, is friends with Atticus, gives them individually made cakes, lets them play in her yard, and is an overall friend to both of them.  Scout and her become even closer as the novel progresses and Scout is ostracized more and more from Jem's activities.  Scout and Miss Maudie spend many evenings sitting on her porch, talking, commenting on people's behavior, and exchanging ideas.  Also, it is Miss Maudie who tells them the true story behind many things:  Boo Radley, Atticus and his shooting ability, and on many other issues of the town.  They know that they can come to her and will receive a friendly reception, and details about issues that they are curious about.  All of these reasons give the children a fondness for, and faith in, Miss Maudie.  She is a continuous presence in their lives, and in the major events of the story.

poetrymfa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The children have faith in Miss Maudie due to her undying loyalty and relentless honesty—qualities which distinguish her from most of the other, less understanding adults in Maycomb. As Scout states in Chapter Five, Miss Maudie "had never told on us, had never played cat-and-mouse with us, she was not at all interested in our private lives." Unlike the average neighbor, who would be interested in gossiping and/or shooing away the children, Miss Maudie is content to let the kids play in her yard without offering snide commentary. Rather, she is a source of insight and wisdom, and when she does speak of other people, she does so in a way that is thoughtful and introspective. Miss Maudie also has a way of treating the children with the respect normally given to adults; she does not talk down to them, nor does she sugarcoat the truth. When they are curious about difficult matters, they can seek her out for honest information. She is transparent in her intentions and a trustworthy friend.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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