To Kill a Mockingbird, Calpurnia's Perspective

Topics: Novel, African American, To Kill a Mockingbird Pages: 3 (936 words) Published: November 7, 2012
Calpurnia’s Perspective of Understanding Others
To Kill a Mocking Bird is a classic novel about a young lady growing up in the south during the 1930’s. Calpurnia is a character in this novel that represents the theme of “understanding people who are different”. Throughout the novel, Calpurnia teaches Jem and Scout that being different isn’t all that bad. Cal’s lifestyle outside of the Finch family represents how people are different from others. She also helps break the barrier between blacks and whites in the southern town.

On multiple occasions, Calpurnia teaches Jem and Scout the lesson of understanding others. At one point in the book, Walter Cunningham is invited to lunch at the Finches home. Walter is a very poor boy, and is rarely spoiled with food. Once he’s at lunch, he begins to eat as much as he can; he even drenches his food in molasses. Scout has a fit about Walter ruining his food, so Cal calls Scout into the kitchen. She explains to Scout that not everyone has access to food all the time. She then scolds Scout for being so disrespectful to her company. “Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house’s yo’ company, and don’t let me catch you remarkin’ on their ways like you was so high and mighty” (pg.24). After going to her church with Jem and Scout, Cal explains to the children why her church only has one hymn book unlike others. She tells them that not everyone in the church can read, so they sing together by linin’(124-125). Later in the novel, she sets an example that helps teach Jem and Scout a lesson by going with Atticus to the Robinson’s home. At the end of the book, when Atticus goes to Helen Robinson to tell her that Tom was dead, Cal went with him. She went inside with Atticus and helped to comfort Helen. This example taught the children that even though Helen was losing Tom in a different way than the town, it impacts her more than anyone, and helping Helen was a way to show that (240).

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