Role of Calpurnia

Topics: Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, White people Pages: 3 (950 words) Published: June 19, 2013
What role does Calpurnia play in the novel?
Calpurnia is a very important character in Harper Lee's To kill a Mockingbird. This is because she has a very important role in the novel. Calpurnia teaches Jem and Scout many life lessons throughout the book, cleans and cooks like most mothers in the 1930s and acts as a bridge between Negros and whites. All of these actions show that she is a motherly and influential figure in the County of Maycomb.

Calpurnia teaches Jem and Scout many life lessons and shows them the way of life during that time. Calpurnia disciplines the child but mostly Scout due to her inexperience with life. Scout says " her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard" (Lee 7) which means that she has been hit many times by Calpurnia. Calpurnia always tells Scout to look at Jem as a role model. Another life lesson Calpurnia teaches to Scout is the way to treat a house guest. Calpurnia says "'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?" (Lee 32) teaching Scout not to complain about how other people eats if they don't complain about the way you eat and that complain about how someone eats is rude. Computer also teaches Scout how to write and behave in society. Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to her church which is similar to a sanctuary for Negros but a place to gamble for whites. Jem notices that Calpurnia speaks differently in the church than whereas in public. Calpurnia talks like all the other Negros showing that she considers herself and would not want to hurt their feelings by act superior. She shows Jem and Scout that you have to fit in with the normal and not try to stand out. The final life lesson that Calpurnia teaches happens when she was delivering the note to Atticus about his missing children. When she takes them home, she scowls at Jem for taking...
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