How does Harper Lee portray the relationship of Scout and Calpurnia here in To Kill a Mockingbird?  In chapter three from the line 'By the time we reached our front steps...(page 29).' to...

How does Harper Lee portray the relationship of Scout and Calpurnia here in To Kill a Mockingbird?

 

In chapter three from the line 'By the time we reached our front steps...(page 29).' to '..suggested that Atticus lose no time in packing her off. (page 31)'

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anthonda49 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Calpurnia was the hired housekeeper in the Finch family. Not only does she take care of the house, but she becomes somewhat of a motherly figure, filling in for Atticus's deceased wife. While he is working in town, Cal is there to receive the children after school. If there are issues of discipline that Cal needs to impose, she does it. In the incident of Walter Cunningham having lunch at the Finch house on the first day of school, Atticus is spared having to directly rebuke Scout for her manners to company in front of that company. Instead, Calpurnia swats Scout, and removes her from the table all in the privacy of the kitchen (which is separate from the dining room). Calpurnia is a loving figure to Scout as well, drying her tears and answering sensitive questions. Scout, at the tender age of six in the quote above, does not understand Cal's true relationship with the Finches. The child sees her as hired help, not as an integral part of the Finch household. By the end of the scene, Atticus sets Scout straight, and there is no more talk of firing Calpurnia.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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