How are Jem and Scout treated at Calpurnia's church in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Jem and Scout are treated with the utmost respect from the congregation of the First Purchase Church--with one exception. When Calpurnia's friends first saw her with Jem and Scout,

... the men stepped back and took off their hats; the women crossed their arms at their waists, weekday gestures of respectful attention.

But one woman objected to the presence of the white children at the black church.

     "I wants to know why you bringin' white chillun to nigger church."

The question came from Lula, a "bullet-headed" woman with an "Indian-bow mouth." She didn't care for Cal's decision to accompany Jem and Scout.

"... they got their church, we got our'n."

Lula's objection to their presence caused Jem to tell Cal that they should return home, but in a flash, the remainder of the congregation soon crowded Lula out of the way, and

When I looked down the pathway again, Lula was gone.

After that, Jem and Scout were made to feel at home. Reverend Sykes "led us to the front pew," announced their presence from the pulpit, and he made time to speak with the children afterwards. Scout is so impressed that she asks Cal if she can visit her at her own house in the Quarters some day.


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