Why does Atticus save Miss Maudie's rocking chair in Chapter 8 of "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

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engtchr5's profile pic

engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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As Miss Maudie's house is burning, Atticus dashes to the rescue, and in the process, retrieves her rocking chair from the blaze. His reasoning may have had something to do with symbolism: The chair itself was symbolic of Miss Maudie's persona -- whenever Miss Maudie was thought of by other characters, she was almost always pictured sitting in that rocker. It was like a crucial part of her, and this recognition is what spurs on Atticus's action.

Miss Maudie later comes to accept the house fire with an air of dignity, and even humor, telling Scout that she would have burned the place down herself, had she not feared being hauled away to the asylum.

gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In Chapter 8, Miss Maudie's house catches on fire in the middle of the night, and the neighbors rush to her home in hopes of saving some of her furniture before it is lost. While the neighbors carry away Maudie's items from her burning home, Scout and Jem stand in the Radley yard at a safe distance and watch. Scout notices that her father, Atticus, is carrying Miss Maudie's heavy oak rocking chair from her home. Scout mentions that she thought it was a good idea that Atticus saved Maudie's most valuable possession. Atticus is a thoughtful individual and knew that Maudie valued her oak rocking chair. While the other men were busy running into Maudie's home to save her furniture, Atticus sensibly decided to grab her rocking chair. Maudie is often seen rocking in her chair on her porch in the evenings, and Atticus knew that she cherished it. Atticus is also older and probably did not want to risk entering the burning home. Since the rocking chair was easily accessible and meant a lot to Maudie, Atticus chose to save it from the fire.

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zumba96's profile pic

zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Atticus saves Ms Maudie's rocking chair because she values that the most out of everything. Atticus knew how important that was to her and that is why he saved thatt. While the house fire basically destroyed the house, she said she was completely fine with it but this also demonstrates what a kind character Ms. maudie is, and she also shares the same characteristics as Atticus.