Mrs Dubose

Use this mindmap to articulate the important qualities about the character you are studying.

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Mrs Dubose by Mind Map: Mrs Dubose


1.1. That she should die clean

1.1.1. "She said she was going to leave this world beholden to nothing and nobody. When you're as sick as she was, it's all right to take anything to make it easier, but it wasn't all right for her. She said she meant to break herself before she died, and that's what she did." - page 120 She believes that you should die free. Even though no one would have blamed Mrs. Dubose if she had wanted to leave this world in narcotic bliss, she decided to try to do what she felt was right, no matter how impossible it seemed or how painful it was.

1.2. Despises blacks and the idea of trying to save one

1.2.1. "Not only a Finch waiting on tables but one in the court-house lawing for niggers!"-page 112 She clearly expresses her opinions to Scout and Jem. Her clear destain towards the Tom Robinson case and her lack of compassion that she shows towards him is very evident. Despite Atticus understanding her pain with the Morphine addiction she still doesn't show understanding towards his beliefs that everyone is equal. It is perhaps her old mind-set or the morphine that makes her quick to criticise Jem and Scout whenever she gets the chance.

1.2.2. "Yes indeed, what has this world come to when a Finch goes against his raising? I'll you!"- page 111

1.2.3. "Your father's no better than the niggers and trash he works for." page 111

1.3. Children should not run around

1.3.1. "Besides being the sassiest, most disrespectful mutts who ever passed her way, we were told that it was quite a pity our father had not remarried after our mother's death. A lovelier lady than our mother never lived, she said, and it was heartbreaking the way Atticus Finch let her children run wild" 111 Mrs Dubose believes that Children should be raised in a well mannered way and not be able to run around in public. She disagrees with the way Atticus is raising the children


2.1. Mean and judgmental

2.1.1. "If she was on the porch when we passed, we would be raked by her wrathful gaze, subjected to ruthless interrogation regarding our behavior, and given a melancholy prediction on what we would amount to when we grew up, which was always nothing." (Pg 110) Mrs Dubose can be extremely rude, especially to the children as she disagrees with their upbringing and holds a grudge against them, especially since Atticus decides to take on the case for Tom Robinson

2.2. Cold and will not let anything make her happy

2.2.1. "We could do nothing to please her. If I said as sunnily as I could, 'Hey, Mrs Dubose', I would receive for an answer, 'Don't you say hey to me, you ugly girl! You say good afternoon, Mrs Dubose!'" (pg110) She is very rude to the children and will not tolerate anything to do with them - even if they are just trying to be polite, she shuts them back


3.1. Courage

3.1.1. "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. Mrs. Dubose won, all ninety-eight pounds of her. According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew." -page 121 She was a morphine addict but as she drew closer to her death she wanted to get off the drugs and die clean. This was hard for her because the addiction was so strong that it caused her a lot of pain to get off. Her struggle is used to symbolise Atticus' trial. He knows that the odds aren't in his favour but he pursues the case anyway showing true courage. 'When you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what."

3.2. Wanting to die free

3.2.1. She said she was going to leave this world beholden to nothing and nobody. Jem, when you're sick as she was, it's all right to take anything to make it easier, but it wasn't alright for her. She said she meant to break herself of it before she died and that's what she did."Page 120 The quote pretty much explains itself. She wanted to die a free clean life, despite it being the harder option. She didn't want to be a lady that died peacefully with no pain she wanted to die with a struggle, with courage.

3.3. Hate towards black people

3.3.1. "Your father's no better than the niggers and trash he works for." page 111 Her hate towards black people motivates her to criticise Atticus to Jem and Scout whenever she gets the chance. This causes Jem to lash out and attack her garden which consequently causes the real truth behind her to be discovered.


4.1. Mean

4.1.1. "Neighbourhood opinion was unanimous that Mrs Dubose was the meanest old women who ever lived" (Pg 39) Everyone in the neighbourhood see's her as a mean old women, not just Scout and Jem

4.2. Rude

4.2.1. "Jem and I hated her" (p110) Jem and Scout find her extremely rude, as she always interrogates them and mocks them whenever she sees them

4.3. That she died free

4.3.1. "Did she die free?….Free as the mountain air" pg123 Atticus is explaining to Jem that she wanted to die free, and that is what she did.

4.4. Courageous

4.4.1. "According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew" (pg124) Although the children do not see this quality, Atticus believes that Mrs Dubose is extremely courageous as she kept to what she believed in, and even though she knew it would mean a painful death, she still removed herself from morphine

4.5. Need to be respectful of her

4.5.1. "Easy does it, son', Atticus would say, 'She's an old lady and she's ill. You just hold your head high and be a gentleman. Whatever she says to you, it's your job not to let her make you mad'" page 111 Atticus explains to Jem that although she can be rude and grumpy towards the children, they must not let it effect them, as she is very ill. They need to be respectful towards her


5.1. Old Lady

5.1.1. "some viscous substance"- page 116 To Scout she wasn't even a person she was just a something that caused fear and anguish.

5.1.2. "She was very old; she spent most of each day in bed and the rest of it in a wheelchair" (pg110) We can tell that Mrs Dubose acts and looks like an old lady, as she is always in bed or in a wheelchair

5.2. Wrinkles

5.2.1. "Cords of saliva would collect on her lips; she would draw them in, then open her mouth again. Her mouth seemed to have a private existence of its own. It worked separate and apart from the rest of her, out and in, like a clam hole at low tide. Occasionally it would say, "Pt," like some viscous substance coming to a boil. " - page 116 Despite being confined to a wheelchair and her feeble appearence most of the time, Mrs. Dubose inspires rage and fear just through the power of her words. Closer up, her appearance alone is enough to scare Scout and Jem.


6.1. Personifying the Mocking Bird

6.1.1. Mockingbirds are known for thier song and their appearance in the same way people base their opinions about Mrs Dubose only by the things she does not by what she thinks. Just like a Mocking bird she had a different side to her

6.1.2. Nobody in Maycomb had actually seen the real conditions of Mrs Dubose, therefore assuming that she is an evil old woman. She had been known to be a grumpy old lady in the novel. The children did not like her. And everytime they passed by her house, she would throw criticisms towards them and also about Atticus defending a black in court. However, Mrs Dubose is a morphine addict, and therefore was not herself. She herself did not really know what she was doing.

6.2. If she was not in the novel...

6.2.1. Scout and Jem would not have learnt what true courage was and would think along with their classmates that true courage was holding a gun.

6.2.2. She instills good values into Jem and Scout like looking after a person even if you dont like them and to always respect people since you don't know what they are going through.

6.2.3. Example of a Mockingbird. She puts into persepctive the work that Atticus is doing, showing to us just how hard it is and how corageous he is.