Symbolism of NamesReading posts here on "Why Dill?" I got to thinking about the symbolism of the names in TKM.Scout and Jem are fairly obvious.  Scout is the seeker, Jem is a...

Symbolism of Names

Reading posts here on "Why Dill?" I got to thinking about the symbolism of the names in TKM.

Scout and Jem are fairly obvious.  Scout is the seeker, Jem is a "gem," waiting to be cleaned up and polished, having true potential under his rough exterior; Atticus surely a reference to the Roman philosopher.  Dill, as discussed in the other post, adds a bit of spice (if not much else) to the lives in Maycomb.

But Calpurnia??  If she is an allusion to the Calpurnia in Julius Caesar, why?

 

7 Answers | Add Yours

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

What strikes me about Calpurnia's name is that it's a very solid, mythical and historic name. It demonstrates that although she is just the maid or housekeeper, she is significant and important, and a force to be reckoned with. Her name makes us look at her more closely.
accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I actually agree with #2. Calpurnia seems to play a kind of protective role, keen to look out for and wanting the best for her charges, just as Calpurnia in Julius Caesar tries to warn him and wants the best for him. Don't know how much further we can take this one though...

sullymonster's profile pic

sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

How about Aunt Alexandra?  Seems to harken back to the royalty of old, which would certainly coincide with the way Alexandra is portrayed in the book - reserved, haughty, domineering.

leagye's profile pic

leagye | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted on

Good question. The only connections I can think of are Calpurnia's tending to another person's children - did she have children of her own in TKM? Caesar's Cal could not bear children. Also, there is a slight similarity between Cal being protective of Atticus (attending court during the trial, though for obvious other reasons) during a somewhat dangerous time for her friend and employer, and Caesar's wife trying to convince him not to go to the Senate on that fateful day. Somewhat of a stretch...

bibz's profile pic

bibz | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

and Judge Taylor? He might reffer to Judge Horton in the Scottsboro trial.

 What about Atticus?

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