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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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What is Calpurnia's relationship to the Finch family in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Nominally, Calpurnia is the loyal housekeeper for Atticus Finch; moreover, she is a mother figure for Jem and Scout. Indeed, as Atticus says, Calpurnia is a member of the Finch family.

All her life Calpurnia has been involved with the Finch family; she grew up, as she tells Scout, "between the Buford Place and the Landin'." Calpurnia adds,"I've spent all my days workin' for the Finches or the Bufords, an' I moved to Maycomb when your daddy and your mamma married." (Ch. 3) After Scout's first day of school, Calpurnia sees how upset the little girl is, so she bakes crackling bread, especially for Scout. Also, she tells Scout, "I missed you today.... The house got so lonesome long about two o'clock I had to turn on the radio."

Calpurnia has been a teacher of Scout's, having taught Scout handwriting. Atticus contends, "She’s a faithful member of this family." (Ch. 14) Calpurnia proves this, as, for instance, when there is a rabid dog on the street, she grabs Jem and Scout by their shoulders and runs them home to phone Atticus.

Calpurnia proves her love and loyalty with regard to the Finch children when she stands up to Lula, a member of her congregation at the First Purchase Church. Lula asks, "I wants to know why you bringin' white chillun to n****r church." Calpurnia replies, "They's my comp'ny." (Ch. 12)

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Calpurnia is the Finch's African American cook who also looks after the children while Atticus is at work. In Chapter 12, Calpurnia explains to Scout and Jem that she grew up between the Buford Place and Finch Landing where she worked for Atticus's father. Calpurnia then moved to Maycomb when Atticus got married and has worked in his home ever since. Calpurnia is essentially family and Atticus values her skill set and personality. He defends Calpurnia in front of his prejudiced sister and explains how important Calpurnia is to their family. Although Calpurnia is not afraid to discipline Scout and Jem, she is also sympathetic to their needs. She not only teaches Scout how to write but also keeps her company when Jem and Dill play together. Calpurnia teaches Scout the importance of respecting others and also introduces the children to the African American community by inviting them to First Purchase African M.E. for Sunday service.

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What relationship did Miss Maudie have with the other characters in To Kill a Mockingbird? 

To Jem, Scout, and Dill, Miss Maudie is like a kind and caring aunt. She bakes three cakes for the three children any time she bakes. She is one of the more fair-minded people in the novel. This is reflected in how she interacts with others and particularly with the children. She doesn't talk down to them and always offers good advice. She is so endearing to the children that Scout says to her, "You're the best lady I know." Miss Maudie is honest as well. She tells Scout the truth about Boo Radley and his family's history. She is usually selfless (generous) especially with the kids. In Chapter 8 when her house is burning down, she still makes time for the children: 

Miss Maudie puzzled me. With most of her possessions gone and her beloved yard a shambles, she still took a lively and cordial interest in Jem’s and my affairs. 

Miss Maudie is cordial to just about everyone. She tells Scout that the Radley house is a sad one. She does not buy into the gossip about Boo. Instead, she shows how she has empathy for Arthur. She is a family friend to the Finches. She knows Uncle Jack and is therefore really like an aunt to the family. There seems to be mutual respect between her and Atticus. Jem also recognizes how Miss Maudie is fair-minded like Atticus, Scout, and himself. When the jury convicts Tom, Jem wonders why the jury doesn't have more ethical people: 

Jem was scratching his head. Suddenly his eyes widened. “Atticus,” he said, “why don’t people like us and Miss Maudie ever sit on juries? You never see anybody from Maycomb on a jury—they all come from out in the woods.” 

Miss Maudie is generally welcoming to everyone else but she won't hesitate to challenge someone who is being dishonest or hypocritical. She challenges the hypocrite Mrs. Merriweather in Chapter 24. Mrs. Merriweather claims to support the Mrunas but she is condescending towards African-Americans in her own town/country. 

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What is Miss Maudie's relationship to the Finches and the rest of Maycomb in To Kill a Mockingbird?

First of all "Miss" Maudie Atkinson is not a spinster, like some of the other "Misses" that appear in To Kill a Mockingbird. (The children call her "Miss," as they do some of the other women, as a sign of old-fashioned respect.) Maudie is a widow, like Atticus, and the daughter of Dr. Frank Buford, whose "profession was medicine." Dr. Buford was a neighboring landowner, and Maudie Buford had grown up near Finch's Landing before moving to Maycomb. (Little, if nothing, else is mentioned about her husband, Mr. Atkinson, or the circumstances of his absence.) She inherited her love of flowers and gardening from her father, whose

obsession was anything that grew in the ground, so he stayed poor.

Maudie had known Atticus and brother Jack Finch for at least four decades, and Jack had jokingly been asking Maudie to marry him for many years.

Maudie lives across the street from the Finches and serves as a mentor and confidante to the children, especially Scout, who

had considerable faith in Miss Maudie. She had 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.

She is a true and loyal friend to Atticus as well, and she supports him and his legal decision to take on the case of Tom Robinson. She explains to the children that Atticus is no ordinary man, but one who the entire town counts upon.

     "... there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them...
     "We're so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we've got men like Atticus to go for us." 

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How and why is Miss Maudie’s relationship with the Finches different than it is with the rest of the neighborhood in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee?

Miss Maudie is one of the few morally upright individuals living in Maycomb. Her views are congruent with Atticus' and they both believe that people should be treated equally regardless of race, class, or gender. Maudie is unlike the other neighbors and does not gossip, hold prejudiced beliefs, chastise the children, or badmouth Atticus. Because of her morally upright character, close proximity to the Finches, and her kind attitude toward Jem and Scout, Maudie is able to develop a close relationship with the Finches. She allows the children to play in her yard, bakes them cakes, and has long conversations with Scout. Maudie does not have a husband, which also gives her more time to spend with the children. One would imagine that she enjoys their company after spending the majority of her days alone. Since Maudie comes from a well-off family, she is also invited to Alexandra's missionary circle, which further strengthens her relationship with the Finches. Throughout the novel, Maudie is portrayed as a close friend and is the Finch family's biggest supporter. She admires Atticus for defending Tom and encourages his children after the trial. Her unbridled kindness and pure disposition are rare in the community of Maycomb, which is why her relationship with the Finches is different from the rest of their neighbors.

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How and why is Miss Maudie’s relationship with the Finches different than it is with the rest of the neighborhood in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee?

Miss Maudie is a down-to-earth woman who grew up with Atticus and Jack Finch. She treats Jem, Scout, and Dill like adults. She doesn't gossip about or to them. Miss Maudie allows the children to run around and play in her yard as long as they don't harm her azaleas. Scout also says the following in chapter five:

Our tacit treaty with Miss Maudie was that we could play on her lawn, eat her scuppernongs if we didn't jump on the arbor, and explore her vast back lot (42).

The children don't want to upset Miss Maudie in any way, so they obey her rules and don't speak to her without being invited to do so. Miss Maudie also bakes the children little cakes when she is in the process of baking a bigger one. When she is finished baking, she calls all three kids over to eat their little cakes at her house.

Miss Maudie is also clever and witty when Uncle Jack asks her each year to marry him. She always responds by saying, "Call a little louder, Jack Finch, and they'll hear you at the post office, I haven't heard you yet!" (44). But what solidifies the friendship between Scout and the older woman is that she has these gold prongs clipped to her eyeteeth. When they were discussing those prongs one time, Miss Maudie popped them out and showed them to Scout. The little girl was so impressed that she claimed her a loyal friend for life. All of the other neighbors are either too grumpy or gossipy for the children's tastes, but they think Miss Maudie is trustworthy and a solid person.

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What does Miss Maudie feel towards the Finches in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Miss Maudie is an old friend of the Finch family, having grown up near Finch's Landing. She is "nearly the same age" as Atticus's brother, Jack, and she still carries on a joking repartee with him concerning matrimony.

... every Christmas he yelled across the street for Miss Maudie to come marry him. Miss Maudie would yell back, "Call a little louder, Jack Finch, and they'll hear you at the post office. I haven't heard you yet!"

Maudie loves Jem and Scout, baking them cakes and allowing them to have the run of her yard. Scout feels so comfortable with Maudie that they often sit together on her porch on summer evenings. Maudie talks with Scout as if she is an adult and always answers her questions faithfully. Although Maudie and Aunt Alexandra are not close, Alexandra is thankful for Maudie's defense of Atticus at the Missionary Circle party.

She gave Maudie a look of pure gratitude, and I wondered at the world of women.

As for Atticus, Maudie recognizes him as the man people in Maycomb go to when they have a problem. She expresses her respect and support of Atticus to both Jem and Scout following the trial of Tom Robinson, telling Jem that

"... some men in this world were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them.
"... We're so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we've got men like Atticus to go for us."

Maudie reminds Scout that Atticus always acts the same to people on the street as he does to his own family inside his house, something that she remembers when she tries to soothe Dill after he becomes upset with the prosecutor's treatment of Tom. Scout puts it simply but succinctly about Miss Maudie:

She was our friend.

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