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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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In chapters 4–6, as Scout grew closer to Miss Maudie in To Kill a Mockingbird, what message did Maudie try to convey to her regarding Boo Radley?

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Scout develops a friendship with her neighbor, Miss Maudie Atkinson, that is unlike her relationships with the other neighbors. Unlike Miss Stephanie and Miss Rachel, who condescend toward Scout and Jem, Miss Maudie treats Scout with respect, showing little regard for their vast differences in age. As Jem and Dill grew closer, spending more time together without Scout, Scout often

... spent most of the remaining twilights that summer sitting with Miss Maudie Atkinson on her front porch.

They often sat silently, watching the changing colors of the sky and birds that flew above them. Though Maudie had "an acid tongue," she never used it against Scout, who came to realize that

... she never told on us, had never played cat-and-mouse with us, she was not at all interested in our private lives. She was our friend.

Maudie was reticent to discuss Boo Radley with Scout (she was not a gossip like her friend, Miss Stephanie), but she did blame Miss Stephanie for many of the rumors that had spread about the town concerning Boo.

"That is three-fourths colored folks and one-fourth Stephanie Crawford," said Miss Maudie grimly.

Maudie preferred to remember young Arthur as a boy, before he became Boo.

"I remember Arthur Radley as a boy. He always spoke nicely to me... Spoke as nicely as he knew how."

When Scout persisted with her questions, Maudie told her that

"The things that happen to people we never really know. What happens in houses behind closed doors, what secrets--"

And with that, Maudie changed the subject, offering Scout some of her "fresh poundcake to take home."

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