The Finch family's longtime African American housekeeper, Calpurnia had previously worked for Atticus's father (as well as the Buford family) at Finch's Landing before following Atticus and his wife to Maycomb after they were married. Cal is a mother herself (her son is Zeebo, who drives a garbage truck in Maycomb), and she commutes each day to the Finch house from her home in the Quarters. Scout describes Calpurnia as a "tyrannical presence" in the home, and a woman who won all of the personal, "one-sided" battles between the children, "mainly because Atticus always took her side." Scout seems to think that Calpurnia is partial to Jem, primarily because he is better behaved; and Scout objects to Cal's "always ordering me out of the kitchen." Because Calpurnia is nearsighted, she constantly "squinted."
She was all angles and bones... her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard.