Illustration of a bird perched on a scale of justice

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

Start Free Trial

In To Kill a Mockingbird, what things or items best symbolize Miss Maudie? I'm having trouble finding things that represent Miss Maudie, other than her azaleas.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The cakes Miss Maudie bakes for the children certainly reflect her character and symbolize her relationship with the children. Her usual habit was to bake a big cake and three little ones, individual treats for Jem, Scout, and Dill. One day after Tom Robinson's conviction, she called the children over for cake. This time there was one big cake and two little ones. Scout thought at first Miss Maudie had forgotten to make a cake for Dill. She soon understood, though, when Miss Maudie cut a piece from the big cake and gave it to Jem.

With this simple act, Miss Maudie recognized that Jem was growing up and communicated that to him. Tom Robinson's conviction had hit Jem hard; this experience with adult reality had left him angry, confused, and sad. Giving him a piece of the "grown-up" cake shows how perceptive Miss Maudie is and how closely attuned she is to the children's feelings. It also shows that she had put some thought and effort into making Jem feel better. Miss Maudie is a sensitive, loving woman, an adult who actually understands children and respects them.


See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team