In the storyEdit
Maudie Atkinson has had a long history with the Finch family because she knew Atticus Finch when he was much younger. She lives across the street from the Finches and is frequently harassed by "Foot-Washing Baptists", who tell her that her enjoyment from gardening is a sin. During the novel, her house burns down, an event which she is strangely and remarkably courageous through, having even joked about wanting to burn it down herself to make more room for her flowers.
She is also one of the only people in Maycomb County who is not racist or prejudiced. Jem and Scout (Atticus' son and daughter) also respect Miss Atkinson, one of the few adults that they hold in high regard besides their own father. Maudie also helped Scout understand the meaning of Atticus' quote: "It's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
One of the only things Miss Atkinson does for a living is gardening, for she loves planting flowers and wants a large area for her garden. She is described as being around 50 years old and also likes baking as well, making very good cakes.