In ch. 12-14, what did Scout mean when she said that Calpurnia"had a separate existence outside our household?"In the book, How to Kill a Mocking Bird.

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tmcquade | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Prior to going to church with Calpurnia and seeing her interact with others from the Black community, Scout had never thought of Calpurnia as having a life of her own.  She just saw her as a maid/housekeeper/disciplinarian who was there to watch over Scout and her brother.  This shows Scout's very childlike, egocentric view of the world in the early chapters of the novel.  When she sees Calpurnia in a different setting/context, and hears her speak using Black dialect which Scout had never heard from Calpurnia before, Scout starts to see from a less childlike view - she applies the lesson Atticus taught her earlier in the book and "steps into Calpurnia's shoes," seeing for the first time that Calpurnia is her own person, with her own family and community, and her own life apart from the Finch household.  This shows Scout is growing up and gaining a more mature perspective.  It also makes her more curious about Calpurnia and the outside world.

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