You need to have read thru chapter five of To Kill a Mockingbird to respond to this topic.  If you have NOT read thru chapter five, please do NOT read further (as it will spoil/give away information you haven't read yet).

  • In chapter five we meet Sister Miss Maudie Atkinson.  And she is clearly trying to teach Scout something when she shares ideas like "sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of [someone like Atticus]" and "some men [are] so busy worrying about the next world, they've never learned to live in this one" (Lee 60).
  • So here is the question: What is the purpose of Miss Maudie Atkinson?  What is her role in the story so far?  Why does her character exist?  And here's another way to look at it: How would the story change--what would it lose--if Miss Maudie was NOT in the book?  (Make sure to link your answer to the "big picture" and the central ideas that this book explores.)

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Hmm...great point. But, do you really think that Miss Maudie is "very important because she is a character that is there for the main character -Scout- when they needed advice.",  Human Salad Abdalla ? Isn't more of what Miss Maudie is saying a sense of realization? To where Scout needs to think of the bigger picture of others and things surrounding her?

                                                                                                                            *Numia Alward!

Miss Maudie is a very unique character because she doesn't really act like a gaurdine that tells you what to do or not to do. But more as a person who staes the truth or helps guide the characters. she also reminded me of the charater archie from the book stargirl because they are both these cool old people that are really wise about life. Miss Maudie exists for almost the guidance of the characters in the book; I feel like she is going to have a bigger role later on, not just influencing scouts only. When scout had no one to go to after Dill and Jem didn't want her around she went to Miss Maudie and its different than going to cal because I assume shes more comfortable talking to miss maudie; since scouts said "she is like a friend" and we all definatly know that we tend to treat friends and parents different. she is more comfortable around miss Maudie thus making miss maudie very special in the book because the people we are comfortable with, we tend to speak to a lot and even say personal things too. Miss Maudie's belifs and thoughts tend to be more philosophical in the book, she stated "sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the [hand of anyone else] (Lee 60). this goes to show that she knows a lot more of the place she has lived in or she has experienced that event. Sometimes the things we grew up with can be more dangerous than other scary things. I also felt she was foreshadowing something when stating that line. That's why she reminds me of archie because its almost like they know something that others don't. If Miss Maudie wasn't there in the book than I feel like Scout would be blind to the things that are happening around her that aren't explained well because most adults would just assume that she is a kid and she wouldn't understand.

I was thinking about Archie too when I met her! They both speak wisely and give the protagonists advise that guides them. I also think her role is very important to the reader as well because as you said her philosophical statements she says helps the reader understand the setting and makes them think. like you said about scout not understanding the things around her if miss maudie was not there because she explains everything. she shares her wisdom and the book wouldn't be the same without her thoughtful views.scout looks up to her and she says  "jem and i had considerable faith in miss maudie" (lee 59). she continues on to say that shes the best lady she knows and anyone can see how important this character is to scout and is going to have a bigger part more in the book.

Yes, I agree with what you have to say Imagine, Miss Maudie is only there to tell facts and not her opinion about what she thinks. She is the "wise" person in the story and only tries to say what is really happening, not her opinion about topics. For instance in the book "To Kill a Mocking Bird" in chapter 5, Scout tries to ask her about what she thinks of Boo Radley, then Miss Maudie says " 'Arthur Radley [Boo Radley] stays in the house thats all' " (Lee 58). Miss Maudie thinks a little differently then how the rest of people in Maycomb County think of situations. While everyone thinks that Boo Radley is a creep or a scary person, Miss Maudie says that he just wants to stay in his house thats all. She is a person who has a different view of things just like the character Archie in the book "Stargirl".

The purpose of the character Miss Maudie Atkinson is to provide a different point of view. The characters that we’ve met so far had the same point of view about Arthur Radley, but she doesn’t. No one in the book so far has told the kids to not think the way they do about Radley, but Miss Atkinson talks to Scout and she is seen with a different point of view. While most characters seen in the book so far think about Radley in a negative way, Miss Atkinson thinks that Radley is nice. This can be seen when she says “I remember Arthur Radley when he was a boy. He always spoke nicely to me, no matter what folks said he did. Spoke as nicely as he knew how” (Lee61). She says that he was a nice person, even with everyone saying he’s not. She doesn’t think the way the rest of them do. She makes an opinion about a person from an encounter with them, not from what everybody else is saying. 

 I think Miss Maudie is like an older friend who has been through a lot during their lifetime and always has good advice. Her purpose in the story is to guide scout and also be there for her when needed. She gives scout advice without telling her exactly how to go about using it. She wants to let her know that people aren't what they seem like especially if one doesn't know their background story. Its like when Miss Maudie tells scout in the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" about Arthur Radley "[the things you hear are] three-fourths [what] colored folks [say] and one-fourth Stephanie Crawford"(Lee 45). Basically she was telling scout that the things she heard about Arthur Radley were not for sure real. They were just things people said about him. This shows that Miss Maudie was wise enough to know not to believe the things other people have said and she was also wise enough to share this with scout.

I think the purpose of Miss Maudie Atkinson in the story is someone who helps Scout,Jem,and Dill but especially Scout realize more about her father and Maycomb. She seems to be an open-minded individual especially when telling Scout not to  believe everything she hears about Boo Radley. Scout trusted Miss Maudie and I feel that she also played a motherly figure by allowing Scout to spend time and speak with her. Scout considered her a friend but maybe even more than that because she seems to be comfortable around her. Miss Maudie seems to be influential by being out spoken and when she wants Scout to form her own opinions instead of agreeing with everyone else.This can be seen in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird when Miss Maudie states "'Do you think they're true all those things they say about [Mr.Arthur]?'"(Lee 60).From this evidence one can conclude that Miss Maudie is questioning whether Scout believes everything she hears from those around her. She is also questioning if Scout is taking the judgments of others and making them into her own. When she questions this she already knows that many people in the community of Maycomb are not understanding and are quick to judge.Surely if Miss Maudie was not in the book there would not be someone to speak upon or acknowledge what goes in Maycomb and there would not be anyone who would inform Scout about this information.

The purpose of Miss Maudie Atkinson in this story is to open peoples mind to the world they live in. As discussed in the story Miss Maudie Atkinson is one of Maycomb's most open-minded citizens that helps people around her/ children specially scout understand Atticus and their community. To  explain, one of Miss Maudie's ideas is, "sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of [someone like Atticus]" and "some men [are] so busy worrying about the next world, they've never learned to live in this one" (Lee 60). This shows that she is open to discussing things that may not be the most comfortable things to talk about and her character and advice's helps get other characters thinking and being more open which makes the story more valuable because of all the things and uncomfortable ideas it opens. 

I think the purpose of Miss Maudie Atkinson is to make other people become more open minded. In the story she is a motherly figure to Scout. And she kind of reminds me of Calpurnia. Miss Maudie gives Scout advice and makes Scout become more open minded. In the text Miss Maudie tell Scout "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy" (Lee119). This evidence shows that Miss Maudie is changing the way Scout thinks about Mockingbirds. And instead of Scout thinking about the bad things Mockingbirds do she now thinks of the good things Mockingbirds provide. All in all, without Miss Maudie many people in the story will think differently about a lot of things.

I disagree that she's a "motherly" figure to Scout. in the text, scout says "she was not at all interested in our private lives" and she called Miss Maudie a "friend" (Lee 44-45). if she was a motherly figure, she would obviously be interested in their private lives. also, scout describes her as just a friend. if she was a motherly figure, scout would describe her differently.

Timid Math Wiz you make a great point that Miss Maudie doesn't really play a motherly role but she is someone scout looks up to or feels comfortable with. We know this because scout went to Miss Maudie when Jem and Dill were leaving her out. I feel like Miss Maudie could be called scouts motherly figure for certain reasons but Calpurnia takes that role before here. The only reason i would actually consider her a motherly figure is because she provides scout with advice just like a mother would do. For example in the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" Miss Maudie says to scout "sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of [Atticus]"(Lee 45). She told scout that a man with a bible could be more dangerous because he could use the words of the bible to justify his actions he takes off his personal beliefs. But a man with a whiskey bottle isn't really as dangerous because he doesn't us his beliefs to an extreme.

Another purpose for having  Miss Maudie Atkinson in the story is to make the story more interesting. It is always intresting too see some of our own questions that we have answered through another character that is open minded and the answer for our questions might not be perfect but they make you wander/think  about what the answer may be. As in the story  To Kill A  Mockingbird Miss Maudie Atkinson says,  "sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of [someone like Atticus]" and "some men [are] so busy worrying about the next world, they've never learned to live in this one" (Lee 60). This is an example of one of Miss Maudie answers it is interesting because it provides evidence but not exact answer so it supports the fact that it wants to open us and make us use connections to figure what the answer might be.

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