To Kill a Mockingbird
Miss Maudie
Themes and Setting
The Trial

Miss Maudie Atkinson

"Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets."

Miss Maudie lives across the street from the Finch's. She is a widow, but she doesn't mourn all the time. She's a very optimistic person and is utterly obsessed with her garden (she loved all nature except for nut grass).
She hated her house, and though that every second inside of it was wasted time. When her house burned down, she was actually happy to know that she could have more garden space.
She was about the same age as Atticus' brother, Uncle Jack Finch. They had grown up together at Finch's Landing. Every Christmas, Uncle Jack would scream across the street and ask her to marry him. She said that the post office could her him, but she still couldn't.
Her father was a neighboring landowner. His name was Dr. Frank Buford. He was a medicine man, but he stayed poor because he was obsessed with his plants and the earth.
She was a Baptist, but she wasn't very religious. Religious people passed by her house and told her that she and her flowers were going to hell. When Scout asked her to explain, Miss Maudie said that they were against anything anyone had enjoyment out of. They felt that the time she used to take care of her plants were time wasted from reading the Bible.
She becomes very close to Scout when Jem begins to grow and wants to become more distant. Miss Maudie helps the children understand the world around them and helps them grow to be good people.
She does not go to the trial because she says it's a "Roman carnival". (The Romans would gather and watch a Christian be slaughtered and torn to pieces by wild animals. They knew that the Christians had no chance of survival, and watched as entertainment. The would cheer when the Christian was torn to pieces.)