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Calpurnia's CharacterComment upon the significance of Calpurnia's name.

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted November 9, 2010 at 11:03 AM via web

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Calpurnia's Character

Comment upon the significance of Calpurnia's name.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 10, 2010 at 8:41 AM (Answer #2)

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The only other Calpurnia I know of is the wife of Julius Caesar.  She endured much in her time with him, of course.  It was Calpurnia who saw her husband's death in a dream and tried to keep him from going to the Senate that fateful day.  "Our" Calpurnia, of course, also tries to avert trouble by keeping track of her mischievous charges.  I'm thinking of the scene in which Atticus is gone and the kids go to Cal's church because she remembers what happened the last time....

Lori Steinbach

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 10, 2010 at 4:13 PM (Answer #3)

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I think this is one valid parallel that can be made - both Calpurnia's (in JC and in TKAM) are caring individuals who try and keep them away from harm and look after their charges. Can't think of any other significance though...

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epollock | Valedictorian

Posted November 10, 2010 at 4:20 PM (Answer #4)

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I am not so sure that there is any significant meaning in her name. I remember reading, though I don't remember which one,  an interview that Harper Lees gave to a newspaper and in the course of the interview, the interviewer asked her about the names of the characters including Scout, and she replies that they were just familiar kids names that she remembered, including Roman names for black people. She mentioned that many had Presidential names of Washington, and Cleveland, and she simply used a popular Roman name.

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saud2121 | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted November 10, 2010 at 4:22 PM (Answer #5)

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yeah i agree with epollock that there was a real significance in the name cal and it did not say anything like that too


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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 3, 2011 at 10:41 PM (Answer #6)

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Heritage is important in Maycomb.  Good family names take priority.  By giving Calpuria an ancient name, and a white name, Lee is affirming that she is actually of better breeding than many of the white folks in the town who look down on her.  Calpurnia has grace and character.  She is actually the one who raises the children, and she raises them stoically but properly.

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