How does Calpurnia show good morals, not only to the kids but as a member of the black community in To Kill a Mockingbird?In other words, how is Calpurnia NOT like the other citizens of Maycomb....

How does Calpurnia show good morals, not only to the kids but as a member of the black community in To Kill a Mockingbird?

In other words, how is Calpurnia NOT like the other citizens of Maycomb. Please give examples with quotes and page numbers. Thank you.

2 Answers | Add Yours

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

As far as Cal's place in the black community, we can assume that she is held in high regard since she works for the black man's best white friend in Maycomb: Atticus Finch. Her church's congregation welcomes Jem and Scout when Cal accompanies them to First Purchase, and her son, Zeebo, leads them in "linin' " the hymns. Cal is one of the few members who can read and write--and she has also taught Zeebo--so she is probably respected for her education. Atticus knows she will be helpful when he is forced to break the news of Tom's death to his wife, Helen, so she willingly goes along with him.

Cal teaches Scout how to write cursive, and she sees that the children stay close to home--they have specific boundaries in the neigborhood which Cal enforces. She teaches Scout a lesson about manners when Scout is rude to Walter Cunningham Jr., leading her from the dining room and into the kitchen for a good scolding. She allows Scout to spend time with her in the kitchen when Jem is busy avoiding her, and she tries to ease Scout's mind about life's difficulties when Atticus isn't available. It is Cal who notifies the rest of the Finch's neighbors when the mad dog appears, and she spends the night at the Finch's house to babysit the kids when Atticus is out of town. She makes sure that the children look their Sunday best when she takes them to her church, and she warns them about their behavior because she wants her friends to be proud of them, too. She defends them when the angry Lula tries to prevent Jem and Scout from entering the church, and she answers their questions as honestly as possible. According to Atticus,

"I don't think the children've suffered one bit from her having brought them up. If anything, she's been harder on them in some ways than any mother would have been... she's never let them get away with anything, she's never indulged them the way most colored nurses do. She tried to bring them up according to her lights, and Cal's lights are pretty good..."  (Chapter 14)

Sources:
mwfiha's profile pic

mwfiha | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

i really don't have the book with me and we probably don't have the same as you do but okay.

so cal took the kids to the black church she was accepting them for who they are and not their skin color. when the kids went into the church, people discriminated them but only rev Skye and Cal's son made them fell accepted. she treats the kid more than being just a maid but she also represents in a way their mother

We’ve answered 318,915 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question