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In Chapter 12, Jem and Scout learn several interesting facts about the life of Calpurnia. When Calpurnia takes them to First Purchase African M.E. Church for Sunday service, they find out that Calpurnia lives a “modest double life.” The children are in awe at the fact that Calpurnia is one of the few African Americans in the community that can read and write, and that she taught her son Zeebo how to read using only the Bible and Blackstone’s Commentaries. They also find out that Calpurnia talks differently when she is around African American people. Scout notices the difference in how she pronounces her words, and Calpurnia explains that she doesn’t want her community members to think she was “puttin’ on airs to beat Moses.” (12.167) Scout and Jem also find out about Calpurnia’s personal life. Calpurnia tells the children that she is older than Atticus, but does not know her birthday. They also find out that she grew up between the Buford Place and Finch’s Landing, and has worked for both families her entire life.
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