Compare and contrast Aunt Alexandra and Calpurnia in To Kill a Mockingbird.

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mrwickline | High School Teacher | In Training Educator

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Aunt Alexandra is Atticus Finch’s sister, while Calpurnia is the Finch’s African-American cook and housekeeper. These two characters both share similar qualities, but differ in many aspects. Calpurnia is not related to the Finchs like Alexandra is, and since she is black, she occupies a lower social status. Calpurnia is able to provide the children with valuable insight from an African American point of view, while Aunt Alexandra is concerned with conforming Scout into the stereotypical Maycomb female. Calpurnia sees eye-to-eye with Atticus when it comes to childrearing, and displays more sympathy for the children when they misbehave. In contrast, Alexandra often disagrees with the way Atticus is raising his children and shows less sympathy towards Scout because she disapproves of her “tomboyish” lifestyle. Calpurnia and Aunt Alexandra are both strong female figures who play the role of mother for Jem and Scout. Both characters rule with an “iron fist,” and make sure that the children do not get into trouble. They both have Jem and Scout’s best interest in mind, yet convey their feelings and beliefs differently.


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