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Scout describesMrs. Dubose as a mean old lady,
"Jem and I hated her. 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."
Jem and Scout tried to avoid her but had to pass her house. Initially they felt that she had no redeeming traits. Later on Atticus is able to help them see a real, even courageous lady.