“Miss Maudie, this is an old neighborhood, ain’t it?”

“Been here longer than the town.”

“Nome, I mean the folks on our street are all old. Jem and me’s the only children around here. Mrs. Dubose is close on to a hundred and Miss Rachel’s old and so are you and Atticus.”

“I don’t call fifty very old,” said Miss Maudie tartly. “Not being wheeled around yet, am I? Neither’ s your father. But I must say Providence was kind enough to burn down that old mausoleum of mine, I’m too old to keep it up — maybe you’re right, Jean Louise, this is a settled neighborhood. You’ve never been around young folks much, have you?”

To Kill a Mockingbird

I dont understand the meaning of "be wheeled around" here. Is it an idiom?


It's a common usage of the verb wheel. From M-W

: to convey or move on or as if on wheels or in a wheeled vehicle • wheeled the patient back to his room • wheeled the car into the driveway • wheel in the experts

In this context, we can assume that she talking about someone pushing here around on a wheelchair, since sometimes older people have a hard time moving around on their own. In a different context, the device could be different, like a stretcher, a wheelbarrow, etc.

  • 2
    And just to clarify, it's the passive voice being used with wheel. Someone is wheeling her, so she is being wheeled by someone else. – stangdon Mar 16 '18 at 11:12

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