Calpurnia Character Timeline in To Kill a Mockingbird. She’s largely responsible for educating Scout and Jem about the ways of the world and what it means to be a good person. Few characters in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ are as memorable as Calpurnia. Would you like to get a custom essay? She contrasts with Aunt Alexandra's harsh discipline and strict gender roles. She is one of the many motherly figures in Scout's life, and one of the few who can negotiate between the very separate black and white worlds of Maycomb. Like Atticus, Calpurnia is a strict but loving teacher, particularly in regard to Scout, whose enthusiasm sometimes makes her thoughtless. Calpurnia being caught in this predicament emphasizes to readers the inherent ridiculousness of racial division. Second, Calpurnia has taught her how to act like a proper lady. She is intelligent and, by the standards of her time and place, a tomboy. The Character Traits of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. She wants Calpurnia gone, but Atticus knows how important she is to the family. Description of a City Shower: Summary & Analysis, The Purpose of Descriptive Statistics in Human Growth and Development Research, To Kill a Mockingbird: Characters, Setting & Author, Jem Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird: Character, Traits & Quotes, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird: Character, Traits & Quotes, Empathy in To Kill a Mockingbird: Examples & Quotes, Maycomb County, Alabama, in To Kill a Mockingbird, Bacterial Transformation: Definition, Process and Genetic Engineering of E. coli, Rational Function: Definition, Equation & Examples, How to Estimate with Decimals to Solve Math Problems, Editing for Content: Definition & Concept, Allosteric Regulation of Enzymes: Definition & Significance. Having Calpurnia in the household creates a tension for Scout between the affection she feels for Calpurnia and the animosity that her white community feels toward the black community of Maycomb. Asked by Kirstin S #501507 on 2/12/2016 2:44 AM Last updated by ariel s #801430 on 6/11/2018 8:21 PM Answers 2 Add Yours. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is about a girl called Scout Finch. Jem, Atticus and Calpurnia have the strongest influence on Scout’s development into the person she is at the end of the novel. Later, Calpurnia is seen as a motherly and nurturing presence for the Finch children. She’s a formidable caretaker who has no problem dealing out justice with the palm of her hand. This lesson carries into other aspects of the novel, especially with regard to race in Maycomb. On Scout's first day of school, Scout brings home Walter Cunningham for lunch. This leads to conflict and resentment from Scout. What does this tell you about how both Calpurnia and Atticud feel about others? Calpurnia is the closest thing to a mother figure the Finch children have, and in spite of her often hard exterior, she is a very nurturing person. Although the majority of parishioners welcome them during their church visit, one woman challenges the white children. This is similar to the lessons Scout and Jem will learn about treating all people with respect. Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960. Calpurnia is educated and intelligent, and has helped to raise the Finch children to be the same. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance. Jean Louise Finch or simply Scout Finch is a six-year-old daughter of Mr. Atticus Finch, a lawyer living in the small American town. Already a member? This is best exemplified by her ability to create a connection between Scout and Jem and the black community in Maycomb. Calpurnia reminds Scout that she is never to make a guest uncomfortable in their home. Calpurnia is a key character in To Kill a Mockingbird, she shows the children the true side of coloured people and that they shouldn’t believe everything they hear about her community. Calpurnia dresses up the children and shows them off almost as if they were her own. When Scout defends her comments under the pretense that Walter Cunningham is not company, Calpurnia responds: Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house’s yo’ comp’ny, and don’t you let me catch you remarkin’ on their ways like you was so high and mighty! How about receiving a customized one? She lives in America. Calpurnia is the Finch family’s cook, a black woman, and a mother figure to Scout. She worked for a lawyer, resident of Maycomb. Calpurnia is the black woman, who works as the Finch family's cook and housekeeper. What kind of advice would that person give you if you were quick to criticize? Source(s) To Kill a Mockingbird Source(s) To Kill a Mockingbird Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student. She has helped to raise Jem and Scout since their mother's death four years ago. Maycomb is old, but in the 1930s it was also tired. Calpurnia also functions as Scout’s, and the reader’s, window into the world of the black citizens of Maycomb. Who are the experts?Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions. - Harper Lee, Calpurnia To Kill a Mockingbird, Page 125. as Scout calls it. Born and raised near Finch’s Landing, Calpurnia has known the Finch family for her entire life. Bluntly, Calpurnia is the Finches' housekeeper. History. She is a parallel to Atticus in her lessons of politeness and compassion. The fact that Scout knows that Cal's hand was twice as hard as a bed slat gives readers insight into Scout and Cal's love-hate relationship: She was always ordering me out of the kitchen, asking me why I couldn't behave as well as Jem when she knew he was older, and cal… Calpurnia is responsible for raising two good children, not to mention she is better educated than many white citizens of Maycomb. According to Scout, Calpurnia, …was all angles and bones; she was nearsighted; she squinted; her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard. From racism to gender roles, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee comments on the prejudices intertwined in the fabric of Southern society in the USA during the 1930s, in the aftermath of the Great Depression. For example, I treat my close friends with loyalty, respect and kindness because this is how I want them to treat me. To Kill a Mockingbird. After the death of Atticus’ wife, Calpurnia became a much more important fixture of the Finch household. The reader gets to know Calpurnia through the eyes of Scout, the narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird. Aunt Alexandra resented the influence that Calpurnia had on the children and asked Atticus to tell Cal she was not needed anymore. Scout doesn’t give much thought to Calpurnia’s personal life outside her work for Scout’s family, but the reader learns that Calpurnia has a had a difficult and painful life, rarely seeing her own children while she took care of Scout and Jem. Scout is describing her home early in the novel. She makes it clear that guests are to be treated with respect. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout learns practical skills from Calpurnia like penmanship and hosting. When Scout is sad or upset, Calpurnia is known for cheering her up with a little bit of cracklin’ bread or a small treat to brighten her spirits. Calpurnia always won, mainly because Atticus always took her side. Cal is the Finches’ housekeeper and a surrogate mother to Jem and Scout. Calpurnia is the loyal housekeeper for Atticus Finch. Calpurnia brings Scout and Jem to church with her one Sunday while Atticus is out of town. Scout and Jem have a good relationship with her, while Atticus's sister Aunt Alexandra is shown to not like her. The reader gets to know Calpurnia through the eyes of Scout, the narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird. b) She has been given instructions by Atticus to take them to church. She is essentially the first black woman the children have ever interacted with, & that experience shapes their ideas of race and equality. Calpurnia is a flat character. The little outing proves formative for Scout and Jem. This proverb means to treat others the way one wants to be treated. Get the character summary here. Calpurnia effectively has one foot in two different worlds: the white world of Maycomb with the Finch family and the black world that she lives in after work. As we learn from reading the story, her nickname, Scout, has a lot to say about her personality. Chapter 3. Calpurnia is in charge of cooking, cleaning, and keeping the Finch children in line. At the beginning of the novel, Scout appears to think of Calpurnia as the wicked stepmother to Scout's own Cinderella. His name is Atticus Finch, father of Jem Finch and Scout Finch. Scout is appalled by Walter’s table manners and makes a comment to him. Scout is utterly disgusted and asks Walter what the "sam hill" he is doing. This iconic novel is celebrated even … To Kill a Mockingbird Calpurnia lectures Scout on manners when scout criticizes Walter's manners and Atticus supports her! That same day, after school, she makes Scout's favorite food, crackling bread. Jean Louise “Scout” Finch lives with her father, Atticus, her brother, Jem, and their black cook, Calpurnia, in Maycomb. To Kill a Mockingbird Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Nevertheless, as the reader gets further into the novel, the more apparent it is that Calpurnia does far more than order and boss Scout around. Calpurnia lectures Scout about her rudeness to Walter Cunningham. "One of several strong female figures in the lives of the Finch children, Calpurnia is the family's black housekeeper. eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. We Will Write a Custom Essay SpecificallyFor You For Only $13.90/page! Calpurnia serves as a bridge between the black and white worlds of Maycomb. c) She does not trust them to behave themselves without Atticus's supervision . In the novel an Afro-American is accused of raping a white lady. As a result, Calpurnia is criticized by both sides. Finally, Atticus Finch influences Scout because he teaches her important life lessons throughout the book. While both children love and respect Calpurnia, as does their father, it is Scout who forms a special bond with the housekeeper. Having rarely been in social relationships with blacks, Scout is surprised at how sincerely nice and cordial the church folk are to her. Calpurnia is a flat character who has strong views and is in conflict with society. Calpurnia is seen as strict and bossy from the eyes of Scout. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee has displayed that everyone’s surroundings influence their character, personality and ultimately the … Along with Miss Maudie, Calpurnia is a strong, positive female influence in Jem & Scout's lives. Calpurnia also has a loving side as well. She then makes fun of him for pouring maple syrup on hif food. Scout is surprised to hear Calpurnia speak in the same black dialect as the others, because at home, Calpurnia always speaks proper English. A neighbor of the family, Miss Maudie Atkinson, had an aunt who taught Cal how to read from old law books. Log in here. Indeed, when Aunt Alexandra comes to stay, she argues with Atticus over Calpurnia's role. He told Alexandra that Cal was a member of the family and would not be leaving until she was ready to leave. Take a few moments to brainstorm a list of words and phrases you would use to describe Cal. Jem asks Calpurnia why she doesn't speak with proper grammar around black people, and Calpurnia explains that it would be out of place, and that she would look pretentious. Calpurnia Cares “Calpurnia was something else again. To Kill a Mockingbird. She is rubbing Walter Cunningham's nose in the dirt and blaming him for getting her in trouble … That day after school, however, Calpurnia prepares Scout's favorite food, crackling bread, as a special treat.". 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! Calpurnia’s significance in To Kill a Mockingbird is much greater than just cooking and cleaning for the Finch family. a) She does not believe that it makes a difference which religious service they go to. Cal has spent her life around the Finches and has looked after Scout and Jem since they were babies. Keep that person in mind as you read chapter three of To Kill a Mockingbird, and answer this question: Is the person you know similar to Atticus Finch in any way? This helps Scout understand, that even though Cal is different, she’s still a good person. She came in to help Atticus with Scout and Jem after the death of her mother. They get a true sense for what Calpurnia’s life is like outside of her job at the Finches’. These are just a few words to describe the ever-present Calpurnia, but there is much more to this dynamic character. Calpurnia is the housekeeper and cook for the Finch household in the book To Kill A Mockingbird. Scout had beaten up Walter on the playground at school, so Jem extended him an invitation to come eat. Character Analysis Scout (Jean Louise) Finch That the young narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird goes by the nickname "Scout" is very appropriate.In the story, Scout functions as both questioner and observer. When the children visit Calpurnia's church with her, they face discrimination and rejection of their own. Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team. Scout and Jem love Atticus, but their cook, Calpurnia… Chapter three opens with a scene that shows us just how strong a character our narrator, Scout, is. This combination of discipline, logic, and kindness makes Calpurnia the ideal female role model for Scout and Jem. Calpurnia is a Maycomb County native. Calpurnia is largely responsible for teaching Scout and Jem about what it means to be a good person in the context of the community around them. When Scout questions Walter's table manners, Calpurnia takes her into the kitchen and proceeds to harshly chastise Scout for her rude comments. Scout gets through the tough times with the help of her dad Atticus, Atticus gives Scout advice that helps her get through life better by understanding their feelings, or emotions (Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird). Chapter 1. While everyone in the novel is filtered through Scout's perception, Calpurnia appears for a long time more as Scout's idea of her than as a real person. Characters. Despite Scout is only six, she is attentive and curious like… a scout, let’s say. On the one hand, it provides a sense of the town. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Calpurnia is the Finch family's housekeeper and a motherly figure for Scout and Jem. Calpurnia, aka Cal, is a smart but stubborn character in To Kill a Mockingbird. In 'To Kill A Mockingbird,' Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to services at the First Purchase Baptist Church. This not only humanizes Calpurnia, but also gives the kids a real connection to the black community, especially during Tom Robinson’s trial. Get free homework help on Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird: book summary, chapter summary and analysis, quotes, essays, and character analysis courtesy of CliffsNotes. Calpurnia’s message is simple: Scout is no better than anyone else. Calpurnia proves to be a truly nurturing person in the Finch children’s life and is the closest thing to a mother that they have. On the other hand, the line also signals to the reader that the narrator is looking back on her memories of an earlier time and a place that may have changed since the events she’s describing. Scout has a combative streak and a basic faith in the goodness of the people in her community. This lesson explores Calpurnia’s character, traits, and her role in this novel. Top subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History. Walter becomes extremely embarrassed, and Calpurnia scolds Scout. Sign up now, Latest answer posted January 21, 2010 at 2:35:19 AM, Latest answer posted April 19, 2010 at 9:37:56 PM, Latest answer posted May 18, 2009 at 5:35:23 PM, Latest answer posted December 02, 2015 at 12:32:30 AM, Latest answer posted August 20, 2015 at 3:31:46 AM. Get an answer for 'In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, why does Calpurnia scold Scout after making her leave the dinner table on the first day of school?' Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. Calpurnia, known as Cal, is the Finch family’s black housekeeper. After the death of the Finch children's mother, Calpurnia steps into the role of a mother figure to both of them. Without Calpurnia's presence and the familial relationship she has with the family, the race conflict that Scout faces would not be as prominent. Calpurnia responds by calling them her guests and saying "it's the same God, ain't it?". In Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the most memorable characters is the Finch family’s black housekeeper, Calpurnia (also known as ‘Cal’). Her responsibilities include cooking, cleaning, and keeping the Finch children, Scout and Jem, in line. At the beginning of Chapter 3, Jem stops Scout from beating up Walter Cunningham Jr. and then invites him over for dinner. Calpurnia is quick to react with a stern word or a smack on the behind when Scout acts out or misbehaves. The timeline below shows where the character Calpurnia appears in To Kill a Mockingbird. This strange juxtaposition is most clearly seen when Calpurnia takes the children to church with her. Literary Terms ... and Calpurnia was one of them. The reader gets to know Calpurnia through the eyes of Scout, the narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird. Use this CliffsNotes To Kill a Mockingbird Study Guide today to ace your next test! She had been with us ever since Jem was born, and I had felt her tyrannical presence as long as I could remember. Atticus and the kids consider her a part of the family and treat her as such, a fact that really bothers Atticus’ sister Alexandra. Meanwhile, the black community accuses Calpurnia of getting ahead of herself and turning her back on her own people. How does Calpurnia teach Scout respect in To Kill a Mockingbird? This line serves a dual purpose. He has nurtured her mind, conscience, and individuality without bogging her down in fussy social hypocrisies and notions of propriety. sometimes, scout finds it difficult to reconcile the Calpurnia in the house with the public Calpurnia. Are you a teacher? The novel is set in the 1930s in the U.S.A. One of the most important themes in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is racism. She was all angles and bones; she was nearsighted; she squinted; her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard.” (Pg 6) This is how Jean Louise “Scout” Finch describes Calpurnia, a black woman who serves as the Finch family cook and maid in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” All of the information learned from this lesson on Calpurnia in To Kill a Mockingbird could prepare you to: Copyright 2018 - Book Store WordPress Theme. Think of the most upstanding, moral person you know. One quickly realizes when reading To Kill a Mockingbird that Scout is who she is because of the way Atticus has raised her. Top subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics. On Scout's first day of school, for example, Calpurnia scolds Scout for criticizing the table manners of Walter Cunningham Jr., whom the children have brought home as a lunch guest. Our battles were epic and one-sided. 5 Educator answers eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. The fact that Scout knows that Cal’s hand was twice as hard as a bed slat gives readers insight into Scout and Cal’s love-hate relationship: She was always ordering me out of the kitchen, asking me why I couldn’t behave as well as Jem when she knew he was older, and calling me home when I wasn’t ready to come. Finally Atticus has taught her valuable life lessons. She comes off as a gruff character but throughout the novel, a kind hearted, caring character is revealed. Next, Calpurnia influences Scout because she teaches her how to act “ladylike”. Many quotes from the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" are attributed to the character of Calpurnia. As you can imagine, this does not sit well with Scout! Scout takes notice of Walter's odd behavior (pouring mollasses on his food) and verbalizes her shock. She came in to help Atticus with Scout and Jem after the death of her mother. She acts as a mother figure to Jem and Scout, as she practically raised them after their mother's death. Also, Scout questions Calpurnia's language use, & realizes that this woman has many sides. Top subjects are Literature, History, and Science. Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now. She said it was not good form to have a Black woman like Cal raising his children. First, Jem always looks out for her. Cal talks this way because she was raised to talk like that amongst friends because that’s how all blacks talked. According to Scout, Calpurnia, …was all angles and bones; she was nearsighted; she squinted; her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard. Calpurnia and Scout. According to Scout, Calpurnia, ...was all angles and bones; she was nearsighted; she squinted; her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard. Yet she’s subject to discrimination from numerous groups of people. Scout describes Calpurnia as a strict, demanding, and unsentimental “tyrannical presence.”. Calpurnia is the loyal housekeeper for Atticus Finch. She has been with Atticus since before his wife died, and she now serves as a sort of surrogate mother to the children. Home To Kill a Mockingbird Q & A Why exactly does Calpurnia take ... To Kill a Mockingbird Why exactly does Calpurnia take Jem and Scout to her church? Calpurnia moved from the Landing to the town of Maycomb where Atticus Finch got married. Like other characters in the book, she is of African-American descent. One of the earliest examples of this is when a schoolmate, Walter Cunningham, joins Scout and Jem for lunch. ©2020 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved, What does Scout find in the knothole of the tree in the novel, What are some quotes related to Boo Radley that can be found in. In To Kill a Mockingbird, what chapter does Calpurnia take Jem and Scout to her church? Scout sees Calpurnia's son, who is the song leader, and for the first time sees Calpurnia as having a life outside the Finch house. Calpurnia was a Black woman, but she was a mother figure to Atticus' children. When they are also at Church with Cal, the children see her as a different person. At the same time, Scout treats Calpurnia with more genuine respect and obedience than the female members of her own family, such as her Aunt Alexandra. I'll bet your answer will be yes. Scout asks tough questions, certainly questions that aren't "politically correct," but she can ask these questions because she is a child. Calpurnia is the Finch's housekeeper. It is clear that he is innocent but because he is black he is found guilty. Atticus became very angry with his sister and told her that he doesn't know what he would have done without Calpurnia after the children's mother died. In the middle of dinner, Walter asks for molasses and proceeds to pour the syrup all over his meat and vegetables. Home; TKAM Blog; Chapter Summaries Vocabulary. Whereas early in the novel Scout views Calpurnia as a disciplinarian and killer of fun, by the end of the novel she views Cal as a figure of respect and admiration. However, she is so much more to the family. She is shown to have a good friendship with Atticus, and he has been shown to trust her with the complete care of his children.