Symbol of the Book
Mrs. Dubose is a dying morphine addict whose last wish was to stop her addiction to the drug. Jem's reading everyday help distract her from her addiction to morphine. The book helped Mrs. Dubose to break free.
Atticus to Jem and Scout
I told you that if you hadn't lost your head I'd have made you go read to her. I wanted to see something about her- I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea 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.
Scout's Description of Mrs. Dubose
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.