What values does Calpurnia seem to represent in To Kill a Mockingbird? What quotes from the book support those values?

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Calpurnia is depicted as a morally-upright woman who is strict and outspoken. Atticus considers Calpurnia an integral member of their family, and she is not afraid to chastise Scout or Jem when they get out of line. Calpurnia also values obedience and respect. Scout elaborates on Calpurnia's no-nonsense personality by...

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Calpurnia is depicted as a morally-upright woman who is strict and outspoken. Atticus considers Calpurnia an integral member of their family, and she is not afraid to chastise Scout or Jem when they get out of line. Calpurnia also values obedience and respect. Scout elaborates on Calpurnia's no-nonsense personality by saying,

Calpurnia was something else again. She was all angles and bones; she was nearsighted; she squinted; her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard. She was always ordering me out of the kitchen, asking me why I couldn’t behave as well as Jem when she knew he was older, and calling me home when I wasn’t ready to come. Our battles were epic and one-sided. Calpurnia always won, mainly because Atticus always took her side. She had been with us ever since Jem was born, and I had felt her tyrannical presence as long as I could remember. (Lee, 6).

In chapter three, Calpurnia reveals that she also values equality and respect by chastising Scout for her rude behavior towards Walter Cunningham Jr. during lunch. After Scout criticizes Walter’s eating habits, Calpurnia requests Scout's presence in the kitchen and proceeds to tell her,

"Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house’s yo‘ comp’ny, and don’t you let me catch you remarkin’ on their ways like you was so high and mighty! Yo‘ folks might be better’n the Cunninghams but it don’t count for nothin’ the way you’re disgracin‘ ’em—if you can’t act fit to eat at the table you can just set here and eat in the kitchen!" (Lee, 25).

In addition to her strict personality, Calpurnia also reveals that she exercises perspective and is a humble woman. When Calpurnia invites Jem and Scout to Sunday service at First Purchase African M.E. Church, the children gain valuable insight into Maycomb's black community. They also discover that Calpurnia is an expert in code-switching and values humility. Calpurnia elaborates on her values by telling the children,

"It’s not necessary to tell all you know. It’s not ladylike—in the second place, folks don’t like to have somebody around knowin‘ more than they do. It aggravates ’em. You’re not gonna change any of them by talkin‘ right, they’ve got to want to learn themselves, and when they don’t want to learn there’s nothing you can do but keep your mouth shut or talk their language" (Lee, 127).

Overall, Calpurnia values obedience and is not afraid to chastise the children when they need correction. Calpurnia is also a sincere woman with perspective, and she is humble and understanding.

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Calpurnia is African American and works for Atticus Finch by cooking, cleaning, and watching out for Jem and Scout. Atticus tells his sister Alexandra that Calpurnia is the only mother that the kids have known; and as such, she has taught them good manners, strength of character, and has been faithful by respecting others above herself. Calpurnia represents all of these good traits and values.

One of the first things Cal teaches Scout is good manners. When Walter Cunningham is invited over for lunch on the first day of school, Scout vocally condemns his use of syrup on his non-breakfast food items. Calpurnia immediately takes Scout into the kitchens as says the following:

"Hush your mouth! Don't matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house's yo' comp'ny, and don't you let me catch you remarkin' on their ways like you was so high and mighty!" (24).

Not only is it bad manners to vocalize one's thoughts about company, but acting "high and mighty" isn't good either. That's one lesson Scout doesn't forget. In this scenario, Calpurnia represents having good manners and being a good hostess.

The next value Calpurnia expresses is strength of character when she takes the children to her church. They are confronted with Lula who seems racist against whites coming to their church. But Calpurnia stands strong because the kids are her guests for the day.

"Lula stopped, but she said, 'You ain't got no business bringin' white chillun here--they got their church, we got our'n. It is our church, ain't it, Miss Cal?'

Calpurnia said, 'It's the same God, ain't it?'"(119).

Calpurnia faces her own kind in defense of what is right, just like Atticus faces his to defend Tom Robinson. Here, she represents a good strong character standing up for what's right.

Finally, Calpurnia represents being faithful and loyal to one's employer. For example, Calpurnia never gossips, back-talks, or complains about the Finches to anyone. Atticus vouches for Calpurnia's worth and values as follows:

"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 simply have to accept things the way they are" (137).

Calpurnia is faithful and loyal to the Finch family, which seems hard to come by when racial tension is so high at that time; but she's faithful nonetheless.  

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