Calpurnia is a very humble person. She speaks little of her personal life, or any achievements she may have accomplished in the past. When Scout goes with Calpurnia to church she discovers that Calpurnia lives a separate, intriguing life outside of the Finch's home. Scout states, "That Calpurnia led a modest double life never dawned on me." (125) Being a maid, Calpurnia had always lived to serve other people and meet their needs. Yes, she had a low-class job but she never complained about her life. This shows yet another example of her humbleness.
Calpurnia also showed humility in To Kill a Mockingbird. Calpurnia, a black servant to Atticus, knew more
First of all Calpurnia is very responsible, yet fun with the children. Calpurnia also provided more culture and knowledge for the children to experience while she takes care of them. These fun characteristics have been displayed when Calpurnia was trying to distract Scout, because Dill and Jem would not let her play with them. Another time this side of her was revealed was when Calpurnia rewarded Scout with a “an open-faced sandwich of bread and butter and sugar.” Lastly, Calpurnia also helps the kids work things out, so that they do not fight as much. Calpurnia is also a good mother figure for the children, because she can provide them with more culture and knowledge that they can use when they get older. When Scout, Jem, and Calpurnia went to church with Calpurnia, they learned valuable information about a community different than their own. Calpurnia was also very smart when there was a rabid dog. Because it was in the wrong season no one thought that it was true, but Calpurnia did and her never giving up saved people's lives. Lastly, Calpurnia teaches Scout and Jem that even though you know something does not mean you have to show it off all of the time and intimidate people. Aunt Alexandra on the other hand, is not a good mother figure. First of all she does not get along with Atticus’s side of the Finch’s. This is supported when Aunt Alexandra is very rude and blunt with Scout and Jem, who are still little children. She also likes to tell Atticus that he is parenting wrong, and tries to get Scout to change the way she acts. The second reason I do not think that Aunt Alexandra would be a good mother figure is that she does not let the family be themselves. For example, she tells Scout multiple times to act more lady-like and wear dresses not pants. Atticus was also forced to tell the children that they are part of “gentle breeding,” and that they should act that way. For
Although the Finches hired her as help, she grew into a member of the family, because Calpurnia treated Jem and Scout as her own children. Some examples of her love for them included Cal’s affectionate ways of speaking to the children and exposing her lonesomeness when the children attended school. One day, she mentioned to Scout, “Baby…you just come right along in the kitchen when you feel lonesome.”, which demonstrated her motherly nature. After the children’s long day at school, Cal would explain the loneliness she experienced when the children learned at school. Those loving words filled the empty voids Jem and Scout’s hearts and knowing that Cal missed their company drove the children to feel needed. Clearly, the author expresses Calpurnia’s motherly side through these
Calpurnia is Jem and Scouts mother figure, because their mother died due to a sudden heart attack. Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to her church, First Purchase, and introduces them to the fact that not all black people are bad people. She shows courage because it’s nerve racking to bring 2 white children to an all black church. Calpurnia says, “I don’t want anybody sayin’ I don’t look after my children” (Lee pg. 118). Calpurnia takes pride in Jem and Scout and shows a massive amount of courage taking these children to her type of life, and to her church. She teaches these kids that it’s not always the right thing to do what everybody else is doing. Calpurnia looks after these children and takes them in as her own when she is told to.
Throughout the novel, Calpurnia interacts with Scout a lot as they live together and have a caring relationship with each other which allows Cal to teach Scout many important lessons including manners, understanding people and most importantly equality, and allowing her rebel against the Maycomb disease. After Scout beats up Walter Cunningham over a small mishap in the classroom she invites him over for lunch but finds herself questioning his eating styles. After making fun of him for it, Calpurnia teaches Scout an important lesson on manners when she says that it “Don't matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house's yo' comp'ny” (Lee 25). Calpurnia shows her understanding of manners and the differences between the Finches and the Cunninghams
Calpurnia serves as an amazing role model and mother figure to the children, and yet Aunt Alexandra wants to fire her. She had raised Jem and Scout, and plays an indispensable part of their lives, showering them with discipline, structure, and love. Aunt Alexandra, however, barely existed in the children 's lives up until she moved into the Finch’s home, yet she inflicts great injustice on Calpurnia by failing to recognize the necessitous part of the family that Calpurnia fills. Scout even overhears Aunt Alexandra saying, "...you 've got to do something about her. You 've let things go on too long Atticus, too long. I don 't see any problem in letting her go"(182). Calpurnia deserves honor and reward, not termination. The injustice of Aunt Alexandra’s disregard for Calpurnia continues the underlying theme of the book.
Calpurnia can be a particularly difficult character to understand in To Kill a Mockingbird. She has worked for the Finch's family as the cook ever since Jem Finch was born. Even though Cal, which is what everyone always calls her for short, is just the Finch family's cook, she does way more than just cook. Calpurnia is loving towards the Finch family;and she acts as a motherly figure for Jem and Scout; she is a hard worker, and she goes above and beyond in what she does, and she likes to be presentable in public, especially in front of the other African-Americans in town.
In the beginning of the novel, Scout is angry with Calpurnia and wants Atticus to get rid of her. All Calpurnia is trying to do is show Scout that she is concerned with her learning ability. Atticus tells Scout, “I’ve no intention of getting rid of her, now or ever. We couldn’t operate a single day without Cal, have you ever thought of that? You think about how much Cal does for you, and you mind her, you hear?” (Lee 33) Atticus is explaining to Scout how important Calpurnia is to their family. Even though Cal is hard on the kids, she has taught them essential life lessons. Later in the novel, Aunt Alexandra is attempting to tell Atticus to force Calpurnia to leave. Atticus says, “Alexandra, Calpurnia’s not leaving this house until she wants to. You may think otherwise, but I couldn’t have got along without her all these years. She’s a faithful member of this family and you’ll simply have to accept things the way they are” (Lee 182). Aunt Alexandra is trying to find reasons to accomplish getting Cal out of the house. Aunt Alexandra wants to take over the motherly job of the kids, and does not always agree with the way Calpurnia takes care of things. Calpurnia is essential to the family, though, and Atticus continues to stick up for her. Calpurnia is one of the only African Americans in town that is able to read and write. She is concerned with Jem and Scout’s ability to read and write, therefore she blesses them
In the beginning chapters Scout and Calpurnia’s relationship isn’t that great, they mostly just talk when need be. Scout refers to her as a “... tyrannical presence... Our battles were epic and one-sided. Calpurnia always won, mainly because Atticus always took her side.” This quote shows that they didn’t have much of a relationship, but the little that they actually had they spent it arguing. But later on in the book once Scout and Calpurnia’s relationship begins to flower, she slowly begins to realize that Cal is both a friend and role model. Once they have a good relationship Scout begins to look at Cal more as a second mom than anything. The second reason that Calpurnia influences them is because when Walter Cunningham first came over for dinner at their house, Scout insulted Walter when he was pouring molasses all over his food. Walter is poor and his family is very poor, and to make his food flavorful, he has a habit of pouring molasses on his food to improve the taste that his food has. Scout isn’t used to seeing people act in this way, so she found this odd. Cal then yelled at Scout to stop judging Walter and to stop being mean and tells her to try to see people's perspective before judging them. The last reason is that Calpurnia is a truly loving person and she cares for Scout. She does the same thing with Jem, and with any other person who is honest.
Remember that this takes place in the 1930’s. In Alabama it was not unusual to have a black servant, but it was unusual for her to treat the white kids she was caring for like her own. This is exactly what Calpurnia in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird does. “Calpurnia bent down and kissed me… She had wanted to make up with me … She had always been too hard on me, she had at last seen the error of her fractious ways, she was sorry and too stubborn to say so” (Lee 28). As it's stated in the quote that Calpurnia is hard on Scout, but it is out of love for her that she is hard on them. She just wants the kids to grow up and have the best life that they can. Calpurnia had been in their life when their mother died. She stepped in to help care for the kids while Atticus and the kids were grieving their loss. Add more green Calpurnia cared for them by looking out and making sure they were fed and safe when their father was out working, or if something unpleasant was happening and they needed to be protected, she was there. “Calpurnia started, then grabbed us by the shoulders and ran us home. She shut the wood door behind us … She ran to the front porch, Jem and I at her heels. ‘You stay in that house!’ she yelled” (Lee 123, 124). In these quotes, Cal is very protective even though Atticus had not asked her to be. These quotes are written after Cal finds
Calpurnia distinguishes when to pomp kindness and harshness to the children. She helps Atticus with disciplining the kids and helps around the house. Despite the Negro stereotype of being imbecilic, she portrays insight on how to live a double life as a civilized Negro. “It’s not necessary to tell all you know. It’s not ladylike-in the second place, folks don’t’ like to have somebody around knowin’ more than they do. It aggravates ‘em. You’re not gonna change any of them by talkin’ right, they’ve got to want to learn themselves, and when they don’t want to learn there’s nothing you can do but keep your mouth shut or talk their language” (143). This characterizes the gumption of
We can draw conclusions about Calpurnia's character from this, and confidently state that Calpurnia has great compassion for others. In addition, this quote also has a more important significance. Calpurnia is clearly proud of her care for the children, but she explains how she does not want anyone saying she does not take good care of them. This is a perfect example of how this character is marginalized in this book. She clearly takes good care of her children but does not receive enough credit because of her class. In Calpurnia's case, it is her race that holds her back from the recognition. A similar example can be noted in Tom Robinson's instance. Tom justifies “I felt sorry for her, she seemed to try more’n the rest of them-”(Lee 264). This clearly demonstrates Tom’s compassion for others, because of how he feels bad for Mayella and wants to help her. Again, despite Tom’s compassion, His race tears down his great acts, which should not happen. In the context, Tom is on trial. Directly after he
Calprina is another mother figure in scout life, she cook’s for the family, and try to show Scout the right from wrong: “It was then that Calpurnia requested my presence in the kitchen. She was furious, and when she was furious Calpurnia’s grammar became erratic. When in tranquility, her grammar was as good as anybody’s in Maycomb. Atticus said Calpurnia had more education than most colored folks. When she squinted down at me the tiny lines around her eyes deepened. “There’s some folks who don’t eat like us,” she whispered fiercely, “but you ain’t called on to contradict ‘em at the table when they don’t. That boy’s yo’ comp’ny and if he wants to eat up the table cloth you let him, you hear?”Calprina(Lee,13) Scout immatureness got the best of her and was rude to Walter Cunningham’s but did not mean it. Calprina tried showing Scout that if people that were raised differently sitting at the same table then you do not be rude to whatever their doing because you would not understand, you are raised differently. Here is an example of Miss Maudie choice to defend Scout in a group full of women: “That Stephanie’s a card,” somebody said. Miss Stephanie was encouraged to pursue the subject: “Don’t you want to grow up to be a lawyer?” Miss Maudie’s hand touched mine and I answered mildly enough, “Nome, just a lady.”Miss Maudie (Lee,122) Like Atticus Scout father she gives advice and listens to.
After Walter Cunningham displays some questionable manners, Scout makes an obscene comment and Calpurnia pulls her into the kitchen. She yells, saying, “ ‘Hush your mouth! Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house yo' comp'ny, and don't you let me catch you remarkin' on their ways like you was so high and mighty! Yo' folks might be better'n the Cunninghams but it don't count for nothin' the way you're disgracin' 'em—if you can't act fit to eat at the table you can just set here and eat in the kitchen!’ ” (33). The motherly instincts of Calpurnia sink in as she scolds Scout for being rude. Just because she is a cook does not mean she always has to be nice. Despite Calpurnia’s plundering behavior, she can also be compassionate and caring to others, including the Finches. When Scout returns home from school, she is surprised to see Calpurnia waiting at the door. “ ‘I missed you today’, she said.” (38). Calpurnia is revealing that deep down she has a love for Scout and wants the best for her. It also shows that she isn’t just a cook, but a mother as well. To add, Calpurnia also conveys her affection for her “children” when she “bent down and kissed me. I ran along, wondering what had come over her.” (38). For Scout to see this behavior as unusual is a hint that Calpurnia has not shown her real feelings for a very long time. However, these real feelings are very good and Scout learns to appreciate Cal more than she used too. Even though Calpurnia can be seen as evil to Scout, she actually cares about her and just hides her feeling