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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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How do Miss Maudie and Atticus react to the snowman?

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In Chapter 8, Maycomb gets an unusual light dusting of snow, and the Finch children take advantage of their first opportunity to play with it. Jem and Scout end up collecting as much snow as they can in order to create a snowman that is made out of snow and mud. Jem ends up making their creation look like their heavyset neighbor Mr. Avery and is excited to show Atticus when he comes home. When Atticus sees the odd-looking snowman, he immediately recognizes Mr. Avery's figure. Atticus lightheartedly jokes with his son before telling Jem to disguise his creation. Jem then makes his creation appear skinnier, puts a sunhat on the snowman, and shoves hedge-clippers into its body to make it look like Miss Maudie. When Miss Maudie sees the snowman for the first time, she yells at Jem by saying, "You devil, bring me back my hat!" (Lee, 43). Miss Maudie acts upset when she begins waving her arms during her conversation with Atticus regarding the children's creation. However, Miss Maudie is not seriously upset as she attempts to scold Atticus for not raising his children right.

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One cold winter day, it snowed in Maycomb.  Both Scout and Jem had never seen snow before.  They decided to build a snowman.  Atticus advised them that there might not be enough snow on the ground to build an entire snowman, but they were determined.  Jem asked Miss Maudie if he could use some of her snow.  She agreed that he could.  Scout and Jem worked hard, and slowly their snowman came together.  They made him look like Mr. Avery, a neighbor.  When they showed Atticus, he announced that they "had done a jim-dandy job" (To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 8).  He commended them on working hard to create a snowman with so little snow.  He praised them for their innovation.  Atticus looked more closely and realized how much the snowman resembled Mr. Avery.  He told Jem that he could not "go around making caricatures of the neighbors."  He suggested they disguise the snowman:

Atticus suggested that Jem hone down his creation's front a little, swap a broom for the stovewood, and put an apron on him.

Then Jem had an idea.  He took Miss Maudie's sunhat and hedge trimmers.  He used them for the snowman.  Miss Maudie came out to see the snow woman that resembled her.  She smiled and pretended to be upset.

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