In Chapter 24, Aunt Alexandra hosts the missionary circle at the Finch home. During the social event, Mrs. Merriweather begins to discuss the current events that are happening in Maycomb and indirectly comments on Atticus's defense of Tom Robinson. Mrs. Merriweather says that there are some "good but misguided people in this town" (Lee 142). She disagrees with Atticus's decision to defend a black man and indirectly says that Atticus is causing a disruption throughout the town. Miss Maudie recognizes Mrs. Merriweather's passive criticism of Atticus and defends him by saying,
"His food doesn't stick going down, does it?" (Lee 142)
Miss Maudie subtly brings attention to the fact that Mrs. Merriweather is criticizing a man whose home she is presently socializing in. Mrs. Merriweather's face turns red, and she quickly changes the subject. However, Aunt Alexandra appreciates Miss Maudie's defending her brother in front of the women and subtly smiles at Maudie.