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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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How old is Mrs. Rachel and what is her personality?

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Miss Rachel Haverford is the Finch family's next door neighbor. Her age is never given. Jem and Scout meet Dill (Charles Baker Harris) in Miss Rachel's collard patch. Miss Rachel is Dill's aunt, whom Dill lives with in the summers. Miss Rachel seems to like the outdoors. She has a fishpool and a collard patch in her yard. The children claim that they are out playing strip poker by Miss Rachel's fish pool later in the novel (ch. 6).

Also, Miss Rachel is a single woman, and she worries regularly. Jem asks Dill early in the book,

Why do you think Miss Rachel locks up so tight at night?

Here, the kids are discussing Boo Radley. Miss Rachel's fears come up at other times, such as when Jem and Scout wonder if there is a snake under Scout's bed. The narrator explains that snakes are a common presence in this area.

Miss Rachel Haverford's excuse for a glass of neat whiskey every morning was that she never got over the fright of finding a rattler coiled in her bedroom closet, on her washing, when she went to hang up her negligee (ch. 14).

Dill references Miss Rachel's fear of snakes later in the story:

. . . she's just seein' too many snakes in the closet. Bet that woman drinks a pint for breakfast every morning . . . (ch. 22).

Once the children find out that the supposed snake under Scout's bed was actually Dill, Miss Rachel is eventually informed about Dill's arrival. She lectures Dill, telling him,

Your Folks Are Out of Their Minds Worryin' (ch. 14).

Miss Rachel not only shows symptoms of worrying, but she also talks about other people's worries.

Finally, Dill leaves Miss Rachel's house without her knowing during the court cases. Miss Rachel lectures Dill when she finds him:

Said she was up half the night wonderin' where I was, said she'da had the sherriff after me but he was at the hearing (ch. 22).

Miss Rachel is also a fairly social and polite woman. This is seen when she invites Aunt Alexandra over for "coffee in the afternoons" when Aunt Alexandra is living with the Finch family (ch. 13). Miss Rachel is characterized as being a worrier and a very polite neighbor.

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