How Does Aunt Alexandra Feel About Calpurnia

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

Aunt Alexandra feels hostile towards Calpurnia in chapter 14 of To Kill a Mockingbird. She believes that Scout needs a proper female role model and that she would make a better job of it than Calpurnia. To that end, she openly tells Atticus that he should dispense with Calpurnia's services. Atticus disagrees with his sister, as he sees the value of having Calpurnia in Scout's life.

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As soon as Aunt Alexandra arrives at the Finch residence, she immediately starts taking over. Now that she's here, things are going to be very different. Alexandra has never been a big fan of how her brother raises his children and is determined to correct what she sees as his...

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As soon as Aunt Alexandra arrives at the Finch residence, she immediately starts taking over. Now that she's here, things are going to be very different. Alexandra has never been a big fan of how her brother raises his children and is determined to correct what she sees as his deficiencies as a parent. Alexandra is one of those insufferable people who believe that they're right all the time and that everyone else is always wrong. This attitude comes through in her attitude towards raising children. As far as she's concerned, this means that no one else needs to help out raising Scout and Jem.

That includes Calpurnia. Calpurnia may have been a valued member of the Finch household for some time, but that cuts little ice with Alexandra. Now that she's staying under the same roof as Scout and Jem, there's no need for the children to have any other adult authority figures around. That means that there's no longer a place for Calpurnia.

Alexandra tells Atticus quite frankly that he should let her go. As well as being rather jealous of Calpurnia, Alexandra can't bear the thought of Scout and Jem visiting Calpurnia's home. As a thoroughgoing white supremacist, Alexandra is implacably opposed to her niece and nephew mixing socially with an African American.

Atticus, however, is unmoved by his sister's advice. He has no intention of letting Calpurnia go, not least because she is a very positive influence on his children.

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While Atticus values Calpurnia and treats her like part of the family, Aunt Alexandra takes a different view. Believing that Scout needs a proper female role model, Aunt Alexandra informs Atticus that Calpurnia is no longer needed. Atticus disagrees. He feels that Calpurnia has done well with the children and that they love her. He believes Calpurnia "tried to bring them up according to her lights, and Cal’s lights are pretty good."

Aunt Alexandra, along with most of the citizens of Maycomb County, has racist views. Her racism may surface in more subtle ways, but her opinion is clear. For example, when Scout asks to visit Calpurnia's home, Aunt Alexandra replies, "You may not."

In chapter 16, Atticus and the family are discussing events from the attempted lynching of Tom. Referring to Mr. Underwood, Atticus says that he "despises Negroes." Aunt Alexandra reprimands him for speaking like that in front of Calpurnia. Her reason for doing so, however, was not to protect Calpurnia from hearing about Mr. Underwood's racist views. Instead, it is because Aunt Alexandra feels that such talk "encourages them." She says that news from the town is "out to the quarters before sundown."

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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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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.

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