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Describe Jem's and Scout's visit to First Purchase church (Calpurnia's church). What do...

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shahafzbc | Student, Grade 11 | Honors

Posted June 7, 2013 at 12:53 PM via web

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Describe Jem's and Scout's visit to First Purchase church (Calpurnia's church). What do people think/feel about them? How do they feel about this experience?

What new things do Scout and Jem learn at this church about how the black people live?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted June 8, 2013 at 4:47 PM (Answer #1)

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In To Kill A Mockingbird, Calpurnia provides Jem and Scout with the  rich experience of connecting the two worlds of blacks and whites:    

Calpurnia, the Finch’s black housekeeper, provides a link between the black world and the white world in which the children move. She is a constant in their lives and fills a mothering role in the absence of their own mother. As a wise and loving black woman, Calpurnia provides the children with an experience which guards them against being drawn into the racist attitudes of the majority of their society.

One way that Calpurnia connects the different worlds of the blacks and whites is by taking Jem and Scout to her all black church. During the 1930s in Alabama, black people and white people did not attend church together. Whites had their own church and blacks had their own church. During this novel, Jem and Scout learn about the racial differences when they visit Calpurnia's all black church. Jem and Scout learn what it feels like to not be accepted based on skin color. Some of Calpurnia's black church members do not welcome Jem and Scout because they are white. Some of the black church members insists that Calpurnia should not have brought the white children to her black church. Lulu is rude to the children. She insults Calpurnia for bringing the white children to an all black church. Calpurnia takes the white children to her church because she expects her black church members to accept Jem and Scout, even though they are white. 

 While visiting calpurnia's church, Jem and Scout notice that Calpurnia talks differently with her black church members. Jem and Scout see that blacks and whites have different lives. Calpurnia uses a different dialect with the black church members. Calpurnia uses relaxed English with her church family. When working at the Finch family's household, Calpurnia uses standard grammar.

Clearly, Jem and Scout observe the differences between blacks and white while visiting Calpurnia's church. Also, Jem and Scout learn that Calpurnia's black church cannot afford hymnals for everyone. Jem and Scout learn about the inequalities of blacks who cannot afford the luxuries that white people enjoy. Truly, blacks are discriminated against and Jem and Scout witness it first hand when they visit Calpurnia's church.  

Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to her church because she does not discriminate. Sadly, Calpurnia learns that some of her church members are just as discriminating as the whites. Clearly, Lulu does not think it is fair for white children to be allowed in a black church because black children are not allowed in a white church. 

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shahafzbc | Student , Grade 11 | Honors

Posted June 10, 2013 at 7:28 PM (Reply #1)

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thank you so much!!

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