Miss Maudie Atkinson from to Kill a Mockingbird
Miss Maudie Atkinson Upon reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, I discovered that there are many different characters that require attention. While getting to know all about these characters, I began to try and relate myself to them. All the main ones, such as Atticus, Jem and Scout, are easier to relate to due to their huge part of this novel. There are many other characters that have a very large impact on this book that do not get enough praise as deserved. One of these people is Miss Maudie Atkinson.
Although she is sporadically placed throughout the entire novel, I feel that she has a large part in Scout’s understanding of what goes on around her. I felt that I could relate to her the most. In the following, I will describe exactly what Miss Maudie does for this novel and how I can compare and contrast myself to her in many ways. Miss Maudie enters this novel in Chapter 5 where she has now become one of Scouts friends in the neighborhood. Although Scout and Jem have know her for a while, Scout becomes close with her this summer because it seems that Dill and Jem have their own agenda and do not include Scout as much.
Scout makes this clear when she states “Until Jem and Dill exclude me from their plans, she was only another lady in the neighborhood, but a relativity benign presence”. (Lee 56) Miss Maudie is a woman of nature that seems to hate when she is inside of her house. She agrees to let the children play in her yard as long as they don’t cause any problems. To me this shows that she must have a certain understanding and possible love for children. She treats all of them equally and like they are full grown adults. She doesn’t candy coat anything when it comes to the children.
I find that I an relate myself to this aspect of her being because of my love for children and understanding of them. The way she treats the children is exactly how I would treat children of my own and of the neighborhood. Miss Maudie also provides a confidant for Scout. Scout talks to her about things that she wouldn’t her own father because of the problems that could arise. Miss Maudie explains questions that Scout has in a clear and real manner. She doesn’t candy coat because Scout in a child but she makes it clear enough that a child can understand.
When confronted about Arthur “Boo” Radley, Miss Maudie makes her pinion very clear by stating to Scout “Arthur Radley Just stays in the house, that’s all. Wouldn’t you stay in the house if you didn’t want to come out? ” Although Scout at first doesn’t understand why he would Just stay in, Miss Maudie goes on to explain that she believes it is his religious practices that make him stay in. I can see myself in Miss Maudie when she speaks with Scout because of how truthful she is. She treats Scout as an adult that needs answers not as a child that can’t be taking seriously. I do that often with my younger brother.
When he needs answers I give him all I know ven if it isn’t exactly what he wants to hear. I believe that his respect towards me has grown greatly because of how honest I am with him. I can see this happening Finally from what I can observe, Miss Maudie does not believe it any type of gossip. She firmly believes that all the things going around about Mr. Boo Radley are “three- forths colored folks and one- forth Stephanie Crawford” (Lee 60) meaning that it is all made up. Although Scout has a feeling that a lot of what she hears isn’t true, it has been going around for so long that it is hard not to believe it.
Miss Maudie oes not believe any of these stories and simply because she knew Arthur “Boo” Radley as a boy. Miss Maudie goes on to say “He always spoke nicely to me, no matter what folks said he did. ” (Lee 61) I can say about myself that I do sometimes fall into the trap of gossip. Although I do not necessarily spread rumors, I am guilty of believing them. This is where Miss Maudie and I differ. Miss Maudie Atkinson is a strong and confidant woman. She has many good qualities about her and provides a good mother character for Scout. She gives good advice, pushing Scout to stop believing everything she hears and start thinking for erself.
Although she is only mentioned in this novel a few times, I do feel she had an impact of how Scout’s feelings about Arthur “Boo” Radley and later on Tom Robinson. I also feel that Miss Maudie compliments Atticus’s feelings on many topics making it clear to Scout that her father is also a very intelligent man. Miss Maudie is one of the only people that takes Atticus’ side in things. I feel the same way about many of the controversial topics that this novel discusses as Miss Maudie and see her as a wonderful character. I do not think To Kill a Mockingbird would be the same without her.