In To Kill a Mockingbird, what do Calpurnia, Atticus, Jem and Scout look like?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout's narrative is exemplary throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, but her descriptions of the Finch family are not addressed in much detail. Scout rarely mentions anything about her own physical appearance. She is apparently fairly large for her age, since she is bigger than Dill and the older boys she fights--Walter Cunningham Jr. and her cousin Francis. Little else is mentioned about her appearance, though she can usually be found wearing her overalls.

ATTICUS.  Scout's father is a tall man who is about 50 years old and wears glasses because he is nearly blind in his left eye.He has "graying black hair and square-cut features," and he usually wears his three-piece suit until he changes into his pajamas at night. He is physically fit for his age, preferring to walk to his office each day rather than drive his car. (It is not hard to picture Atticus after having seen the film adaptation of the novel: Actor Gregory Peck was made for the role, and Peck's own features fit Atticus to a tee.) 

JEM.  Jem has his mother's looks, with "soft brown hair and eyes, (an) oval face and snug-fitting ears." His hair "stuck up behind and down in front," and Scout notices his "heavier" eyebrows later in the story. He is "slender," of average build, taller and bigger than Scout but not big enough to make the football team when he reaches the seventh grade.  

CALPURNIA.  Cal is "just a few years older" than her boss and is a grandmother, but she doesn't "look even near as old as Atticus." She has "tiny lines around her eyes," and

She was all angles and bones; she was nearsighted; she squinted; her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard.

She is strong from working around the house each day, and Scout

... admired the ease and grace with which she handled heavy loads of dainty things.

She wears an apron while working, but dresses appropriately for church, with "her navy voile dress and tub of a hat."

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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