Parental Roles in to Kill a Mockingbird: Calpurnia

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Every child must have a parental figure or figures. To most, biological parents usually play these roles. That’s why it is always a tragedy when a child looses a mother at such a young age as Jem and Scout did. However, even harder is being left a single father balancing both work, and parental duties. Luckily for Atticus, Calpurnia is around to pick up some of the slack. Without Calpurnia, Jem and Scout would not be nearly as well behaved as they gradually become. Atticus’s career would also take a dive, with no one to watch Scout and Jem while he works. Finally, Calpurnia also takes care of exposing Jem and Scout to new things, something every parent should gradually do for their child. In the book, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Calpurnia is the closest thing Jem and Scout have to a mother; and even though the family may overlook her at times, they would really be lost without her. Throughout the novel, Atticus is relentlessly working on the trial; so naturally, he does not have as much time to spend with Jem and Scout. When he is away, Calpurnia takes over, feeding them, putting them to bed, and making sure they are clean and cared for. Calpurnia always makes sure the children dress properly. She treats the children as though they were her own, even by bonding with Scout when Jem feels he is too old to play with his younger sister anymore. When Scout was having a bad day, Calpurnia calls her in and invites Scout to help her make crackling bread. She even bent down and kissed Scout on the head. Scout decided Calpurnia must have “sensed my day had been a grim one.” Calpurnia loves the children like any mother would. Calpurnia always makes sure Jem and Scout are well behaved. On page 27, Scout rudely protests to the amount of syrup Walter Cunningham pours on his vegetables and meat. Quickly following this, Calpurnia pulls Scout out of the room and scolds her like any mother would, saying “…Yo’ folks might be better’n the Cunninghams but it...
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