How Does Aunt Alexandra Feel About Calpurnia

In To Kill a Mockingbird, does Aunt Alexandra feel about Calpurnia in Chapter 14?

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gpane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Aunt Alexandra thinks there is no longer any need for Calpurnia to remain in the Finch household now that she herself has arrived. She decides that she can take over the household tasks and provide the kind of female influence that the growing Scout needs.

Alexandra thinks that Calpurnia is not a suitable female role model for Scout, given that Calpurnia is black and of a lower class. Alexandra’s disapproval of Calpurnia is made plain when she most emphatically intervenes to prevent Scout from making plans to go out to Calpurnia’s house.

Alexandra’s racial and class prejudices are shared by many in Maycomb society but not by her own brother. He may chide Scout for being disrespectful to her, but at the same time he flatly refuses to give in to her wishes to fire Calpurnia and tells her so, in no uncertain terms: 

Calpurnia's not leaving this house until she wants to. You may think otherwise, but I couldn't have got along without her all these years. She's a faithful member of this family, and you'll just have to accept things the way they are. (Chapter 14)

Calpurnia has been a loyal member of the Finch household for a long time and Atticus shows his gratitude. In his own quiet but firm way he resists his sister’s  attempts to re-organise things to her own liking.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 14, Aunt Alexandra reveals her ugly prejudice again when she petitions Atticus to get rid of Calpurnia. After Scout asks her father if she is allowed to visit Calpurnia's home, Alexandra answers for Atticus by telling Scout, "You may not" (Lee 84). Alexandra is already upset at the fact that Cal took the children to her African-American church and believes that the Finch family can do without her. Aunt Alexandra tells Atticus that the family does not need Calpurnia and she does not want Scout being influenced by her. However, Atticus demonstrates his loyalty and trust in Calpurnia by defending her in front of his sister. Atticus tells Alexandra that the children love Calpurnia and he considers her part of the family. Atticus's response upsets Aunt Alexandra, who is not used to people taking a stand against her wishes, and Calpurnia stays with the Finch family. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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