Miss Maudie lives on the Finch’s street and often acts as a confidante and source of hope for Jem and Scout. Unlike Mrs. Dubose, Miss Maudie is warm and welcoming to the Finch family, respecting the hard work Atticus does for the town and making cakes for the children to eat as she talks with them. She develops a particularly unique bond with Scout throughout the novel, especially as Jem begins to grow increasingly distant and mature. In many ways, Miss Maudie represents another mother-like figure in Scout’s life. She imparts wisdom regarding the dynamics of Maycomb, offers information about Boo Radley, and even helps Scout understand Atticus in new ways. Miss Maudie’s perspective on these issues is particularly unique as she is not a member of the family, unlike Calpurnia and Aunt Alexandra who also serve as maternal influences in Scout’s life. This allows her to discuss topics like Boo Radley’s life or Atticus’s moral code that Atticus tends to dismiss or shield his children from at home. 

In addition to serving as a mother-like figure for Scout, Miss Maudie’s character also represents perseverance and strength. The way in which she responds to the fire that engulfs her home speaks to the idea that even in the face of tragedy, there is always the possibility of moving forward. The juxtaposition of the fire with the rare snow on the ground creates a particularly dramatic scene, with the two extremes working together to enhance the stakes of the event. Despite the damage wrought on her home and her garden, all Miss Maudie is concerned with is the welfare of her neighbors. She immediately thinks of the new future she can build for herself, complete with a bigger yard for her garden, rather than grieving what she lost. This perspective is an important one for Jem and Scout to be exposed to as they will also face loss and change throughout the novel. Like her resilient azaleas, Miss Maudie refuses to let challenges change who she is or what she values.