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After Aunt Alexandra comes to stay with Atticus just before the start of the Tom Robinson trial, she makes it clear to him that the housekeeper, Calpurnia, will no longer be needed. Alexandra believes that she will serve as a better female presence in the home than Cal, and that there is no need for two women. But Atticus will hear none of it, telling his sister that Calpurnia will keep her job as long as she wants to stay. He tells Alexandra that he "couldn't have got along without her all these years," and that he considers Cal a member of the family.
"Besides, I don't think the children have suffered one bit from her having brought them up. If anything, she's been harder on them in some ways than a mother would have been... she's never let them get away with anything, she's never indulged them... --and another thing, the children lover her."
No more was heard from Alexandra on the subject, but Scout could tell by the way she had returned to her knitting that "She was furious."
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