What do we learn about Calpurnia's attitude towards other people in Chapter 3 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Calpurnia rules the Finch household with an iron fist when Atticus is not around (and even sometimes when he is). She feels free to express her mind whenever she feels like it, something that not all black men and women could do publicly among white people during the 1930s. Cal no doubt holds her tongue on some occasions (such as at the missionary circle tea in Chapter 24), and she rarely criticizes white people (although she has some choice words about old Mr. Radley in Chapter 1). But Cal speaks freely in Chapter 3 after Scout's rude treatment of her guest Walter Cunningham Jr. Cal makes it clear that

"Don't matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house's yo' compn'y, and don't you let me catch you remarkin' on their ways like you was so high and mighty!"  (Chapter 3)

To Cal, it didn't matter that young Walter was a child or even a member of the lowly Cunningham family: A guest in the Finch home should be treated with respect. Cal did make amends to Scout later in the day when she specially prepared one of Scout's favorite foods--crackling bread. Scout recognized it as a peace offering, and she "ran along, wondering what had come over her."


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