To Kill A Mockingbird Summary of Chapter 11
The summer after second grade the children decide to expand their horizons. They spend more time going into town, which requires them to pass the house of Miss Dubose, who never misses an opportunity to shout at the children. This infuriates Jem, but Atticus tells him not to get upset. On a particular walk, Miss Dubose makes remarks about Atticus to the children. Jem becomes enraged and on the walk home destroys Miss Dubose's bushes. Atticus sends Jem back to clean up his mess and to work on her shrubs for every weekend. When Jem returns he tells Atticus that Miss Dubose wants him to read to her instead.
The next weekend Jem, accompanied by Scout, goes to read to Miss Dubose. Miss Dubose is very ill and spends most of the afternoon in a fog. After several weekends, they are free of reading to her.
Atticus goes to visit Miss Dubose one weekend. When he returns he announces that she has passed away. Atticus explains to the children that Miss Dubose had become addicted to morphine as a result of her illness and that she had spent the final months of her life freeing herself of the addiction. He tells them that their company helped her keep her mind off her pain. Atticus opens a box with a piece of her shrub in it. It is a gift for Jem, who is angered by the gesture. Atticus tells them what a strong and brave woman Miss Dubose was for fighting her addiction.