To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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How does Calpurnia influence Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Scout's view of Calpurnia changes during the course of the novel. In the early chapters, Scout considers Cal a

... tyrannical presence... Our battles were epic and one-sided. Calpurnia always won, mainly because Atticus always took her side.  (Chapter 1

Scout believes that Cal favors Jem and relentlessly picks on her. But Jem has already learned to stay out of Cal's way (just as he later does when Aunt Alexandra comes to live), and Scout slowly comes to realize that Cal is both a friend and role model. It is Scout's revelation about Cal's "modest double life" that both arouses her curiosity...

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amysor | Student

Throughout the novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, Calpurnia influences Scout a lot. To add on to bullgatortail's answer, Calpurnia also influenced her in percieving others. When Walter Cunningham Jr. first came over for dinner at the Finches, Scout insulted Walter when he was pouring molasses all over his food. Walter is poor, and to make his food flavorful, he has a habit of pouring molasses on his food to improve the tase. Scout has a higher standard of living, so she found this odd. Cal nagged Scout about how that was mean, and try to see people's in their shoes before judging them. At the end of the book, Scout does this with Boo Radley. She understands Boo by understanding things through his perspective. 

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