I need several adjectives to describe Calpurnia from To Kill A Mockingbird for a project in English, but I'm having a really hard time doing so. The words have to be descriptive, insightful, and...

I need several adjectives to describe Calpurnia from To Kill A Mockingbird for a project in English, but I'm having a really hard time doing so. The words have to be descriptive, insightful, and contrasting because I am also comparing Cal from T.K.M to the Cal that we read about in Go Set A Watchman and how the character has changed.

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whovian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Calpurnia is a loving mother figure to Scout and Jem. She is hard on them, but it's only because she loves them enough to have high expectations.  Scout often misinterprets this as meanness, but it's really just the typical parenting that has to happen as children are growing up.  When Scout has a bad day, Calpurnia will make a special snack and allow her to hang out in the kitchen.

Calpurnia is kind.  When Scout and Jem bring Walter Cunningham, Jr. home for lunch, Calpurnia will not let Scout humiliate him.  Scout embarrasses him when he's pouring molasses all over his plate, and Calpurnia calls Scout into the kitchen and has her finish her lunch in there.  She reminds Scout that Walter is her company, because he's a guest in their home.  It doesn't matter to Cal that he's a Cunningham.  She sees him as a guest, and tells Scout that he can eat up the tablecloth if he wants to, and she needs to let him.

Calpurnia is hardworking. Even though she has her own home and family, Calpurnia seems to always be at the Finch home.  This could be a little skewed because we get this story from Scout's point of view, but there are many days when she's there before the kids wake up in the morning.  She gives up many evenings and weekends away from her life to care for Scout, Jem, and Atticus.  When the trial starts, she works even more hours.  However, taking care of Scout and Jem allows Atticus to take care of Tom's case, so it's doubtful the extra work bothered her.

Calpurnia is brave.  Atticus asked her to get in the car to go tell Tom's wife that he'd been killed.  She didn't hesitate, even though she was uncomfortable.  She got in the car and went with Atticus to do what needed to be done. 

Overall, Calpurnia is just a good person.  Scout and Jem are being raised by her, and they are very lucky to have her in their lives.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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