Who is Calpurnia in To Kill a Mockingbird? What is her place in the Finch household?

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Calpurnia is the Finch family's housekeeper and a motherly figure for Scout and Jem.

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Calpurnia is the Finch's housekeeper.  She has been with Atticus since before his wife died, and she now serves as a sort of surrogate mother to the children.  Having Calpurnia in the household creates a tension for Scout between the affection she feels for Calpurnia and the animosity that her...

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Calpurnia is the Finch's housekeeper.  She has been with Atticus since before his wife died, and she now serves as a sort of surrogate mother to the children.  Having Calpurnia in the household creates a tension for Scout between the affection she feels for Calpurnia and the animosity that her white community feels toward the black community of Maycomb.  This strange juxtaposition is most clearly seen when Calpurnia takes the children to church with her.  Having rarely been in social relationships with blacks, Scout is surprised at how sincerely nice and cordial the church folk are to her.  Calpurnia dresses up the children and shows them off almost as if they were her own.  Scout sees Calpurnia's son, who is the song leader, and for the first time sees Calpurnia as having a life outside the Finch house.  Without Calpurnia's presence and the familial relationship she has with the family, the race conflict that Scout faces would not be as prominent.

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Bluntly, Calpurnia is the Finches' housekeeper. However, she is so much more to the family. She acts as a mother figure to Jem and Scout, as she practically raised them after their mother's death. Along with Miss Maudie, Calpurnia is a strong, positive female influence in Jem & Scout's lives. She is a parallel to Atticus in her lessons of politeness and compassion. She contrasts with Aunt Alexandra's harsh discipline and strict gender roles. Indeed, when Aunt Alexandra comes to stay, she argues with Atticus over Calpurnia's role. She wants Calpurnia gone, but Atticus knows how important she is to the family.

On Scout's first day of school, Scout brings home Walter Cunningham for lunch. She then makes fun of him for pouring maple syrup on hif food. Walter becomes extremely embarrassed, and Calpurnia scolds Scout. She makes it clear that guests are to be treated with respect. This is similar to the lessons Scout and Jem will learn about treating all people with respect. Calpurnia also has a loving side as well. That same day, after school, she makes Scout's favorite food, crackling bread.

Calpurnia serves as a bridge between the black and white worlds of Maycomb. She is essentially the first black woman the children have ever interacted with, & that experience shapes their ideas of race and equality. sometimes, scout finds it difficult to reconcile the Calpurnia in the house with the public Calpurnia. When the children visit Calpurnia's church with her, they face discrimination and rejection of their own. Also, Scout questions Calpurnia's language use, & realizes that this woman has many sides. Although the majority of parishioners welcome them during their church visit, one woman challenges the white children. Calpurnia responds by calling them her guests and saying "it's the same God, ain't it?"

This combination of discipline, logic, and kindness makes Calpurnia the ideal female role model for Scout and Jem.

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Calpurnia is the loyal housekeeper for Atticus Finch.  She came in to help Atticus with Scout and Jem after the death of her mother.  Calpurnia was a Black woman, but she was a mother figure to Atticus' children.  Aunt Alexandra resented the influence that Calpurnia had on the children and asked Atticus to tell Cal she was not needed anymore.  She said it was not good form to have a Black woman like Cal raising his children.  Atticus became very angry with his sister and told her that he doesn't know what he would have done without Calpurnia after the children's mother died.  He told Alexandra that Cal was a member of the family and would not be leaving until she was ready to leave.

"One of several strong female figures in the lives of the Finch children, Calpurnia is the family's black housekeeper. She has helped to raise Jem and Scout since their mother's death four years ago. Like Atticus, Calpurnia is a strict but loving teacher, particularly in regard to Scout, whose enthusiasm sometimes makes her thoughtless. On Scout's first day of school, for example, Calpurnia scolds Scout for criticizing the table manners of Walter Cunningham Jr., whom the children have brought home as a lunch guest. That day after school, however, Calpurnia prepares Scout's favorite food, crackling bread, as a special treat."

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In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, the character Calpurnia is the Finches' cook, but she is also treated like a surrogate mother for both Scout and Jem, whose mother died of a heart attack when Scout was just two years old.

Since Calpurnia behaves as a mother figure, she and Scout often have battles because Scout prefers her independence. For example, Scout informs us early on in the very first chapter that Calpurnia was always telling her to get out of the kitchen, making her come home when she didn't want to, and asking her "why [she] couldn't behave as well as Jem when [Calpurnia] knew he was older" (p. 6). Scout further relays, "Our battles were epic and one-sided. Calpurnia always won, mainly because Atticus always took her side" (p. 6).

As the novel progresses, Atticus must spend more and more time away from home, working on the case, leaving Scout and Jem to Calpurnia's care. The more time they spend with her, the more they see her as a vital protector in their lives. Once, she calls the sheriff and Atticus to protect them from a rabid dog. On another occasion, Scout cries on Calpurnia's shoulder after Jem yells at her to start acting like a girl. At another time, she brings them with her to her own African-American church and defends them from racial prejudice. As they walk with her home from church, the more they learn about her background, her education, the African-American culture, and how she avoids looking arrogant by speak "colored-folks talk" at church, even though she is educated enough to speak "white-folks talk" in the Finches' home. Scout learns a valuable lesson from Calpurnia concerning the fact that just because a person knows more doesn't mean the person has to share the knowledge all the time--"it's not ladylike"--and it won't change anything (Ch. 12, p. 127). As Calpurnia phrases it, African Americans need to learn for themselves.

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Aside from her roles as cook, housekeeper, and nanny, Calpurnia (who is African-American) is a kind of substitute mother figure for Scout and Jem.  Since their own mother has died, Calpurnia provides them with the kind of maternal guidance, supervision, love, and correction they might otherwise lack.  Just as Atticus is a kind of ideal father figure in this novel, so Calpurnia -- with her wisdom, common sense, and strength of character -- functions as a kind of ideal mother figure.  Certainly she is a more appealing maternal figure than many of the other women in the book, including the young school teacher and the bossy aunt (Atticus's sister).  As the scene in the African-American church indicates, Calpurnia is a representative of Christianity at its best.  In that scene and indeed throughout the novel, she displays such virtues as love, kindness, and acceptance.  However, she also displays the strength of character that helps to make her such an impressive and admirable figure throughout the novel.

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Calpurnia is the housekeepr in the Finch household, She also serves as mother figure to the two Finch children Scout and Jem. Calpurnia teaches the children manners and how youngsters are expected to behave. She also teaches the children about life for a black person during the time, the children have an opportunity to see how the blacks live when Calpurnia takes them to church with her. Atticus shows his trust in Calpurnia when he has her spend the night with the children when he feels they are in danger. Calpurnia turns out to be much more than just a housekeeper for the Finch household.

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Calpurnia is the Finches housekeeper, and her primary role in the novel is to be a surrogate mother for Scout and Jem.

Early on, Scout is antagonistic toward Cal, as the two clash over Scout's treatment of guests.  When Walter Cunningham, Jr. comes for dinner and pours syrup on his plate, Scout calls out the offense, much to Cal's chagrin.  Cal teaches her to honor the guest - host relationship, that a host must make a guest feel welcome despite differences in peculiar habits.

Later, Cal will have a great impact on Scout and Jem's worldview when she takes them to the First Purchase Church.  This opens the children's eyes in terms of the impact of Jim Crow laws on the black community in the deep South.  More, the experience shows the solidarity among the poor blacks, for they raise money for the Robinson family.  Cal imparts advice similar to Atticus': you don't have to tell everything you know.  This reinforces the lessons empathy and restraint in communicating with others.

Still later on, when the kids become targets of violence, Atticus will ask Cal to stay the night with the kids for protection.  Such is his trust of Calpurnia.

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Calpurnia is a surrogate mother to the Finch children.  Their mother is gone, and Calpurnia is the woman who does the household duties of cooking, cleaning, looking after and loving the children.  She is no pushover, and she certainly has her opinions.  However, as a black lady in this time period, she normally keeps them to herself unless asked point-blank.  She is honest with the children, and she helps Scout understand and adjust to her alienation when Jem begins to find his own way from "boy" to "man".  She takes her job seriously and it is without a doubt that she loves the Finch children and their father since they are fair-minded and honorable people. 

When Alexandria comes into the picture, Calpurnia's place is pushed a little to the side, but Atticus will not allow his sister to get rid of Calpurnia altogether since he has known the woman forever and understands her family needs the money her job with the Finches provides.

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Calpurnia is the Finch’s’ black maid who has cooked and cleaned for the family since Jem was born.  Atticus is a widower, and Calpurnia steps in and takes the role of a surrogate mother for Scout and Jem.  She comes in each day, takes care of the house, and she watches Scout and Jem while Atticus is at work.  Calpurnia runs a “tight ship” at the Finch house.  Calpurnia is more of a disciplinarian that Atticus, and Scout describes her as “all angles and bones . . .her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard.”   Scout also says that their battles were “epic and one-sided . . . Calpurnia always won.”  Calpurnia does love the children very much and disciplines them to show her love.  She is the opposite of Atticus who rarely disciplines the children.  Instead, he “discusses” problems with Scout and Jem.  Calpurnia has a good relationship with Atticus; he trusts her to take care of the children. Calpurnia is more than just “the help.”  She is a member of the family who guides, teaches, and protects Scout and Jem throughout the novel. 

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Calopurnia and Miss Maudie both represent female role models for Scout in divergent ways. Calpurnia is black, which makes her different from the Finches because of the way in which race is viewed in Maycomb at the time. However, because she has taken care of the children for so long, she has become almost like a mother to them. The children are able to see past her skin color and see her only as the caring woman that she is, someone who will protect them when their father is not around and who fulfils the role of a mother nicely. Because they learn to see past her skin color, they are in a much better position to see past Tom Robinson's skin color as well and to see him as the innocent man that he is. Because of this, they are even more startled by the outcome of the trial and it gives them a glimpse into the adult world of hatred and prejudice. They do not like what they see, and rightfully so. This is how change is made in future generations.

Miss Maudie is also a female role model. She is a widow, like Atticus, and in some ways acts as his other half even without a romantic entanglement. She is highly critical of the hypocrisy in the town, particularly of the so-called church goers - and she is not afraid to share her wisdom with the children. Her views align with what they have already learned from Atticus. As a result, her position in the story is to act as a codification of the values that the children are learning from this experience.

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Miss Maudie Atkinson is a neighbor of the Finches and a close friend of Atticus and his children. Like Atticus, Miss Maudie is actually a widow, and she has grown up in Maycomb with the attorney and his brother, Jack. Her favorite pasttime is gardening, and Scout also recognizes her for baking the best cakes in the neighborhood. Maudie speaks her mind honestly and clearly, and she exhibits a sense of humor several times in the novel. When Miss Maudie's house burns down on the night of the early snow, she seems to be less concerned than most. She moves in with fellow neighbor, Miss Stephanie Crawford, until the house is rebuilt. 

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Miss Maudie is a neighbor to the Finches. She is a widow who loves to garden, which has earned her criticism from some zealous churchgoers in the town. She supports Atticus and his pursuit to represent properly Tom Robinson. Miss Maudie’s house burns down and instead of showing grief or sadness, she claims that her house was too big anyways. Her most important role in the story seems to be her influence over the children. She talks to the children as if they are her friends and not children. She makes cakes for the kids and has heart to heart talks with Scout.
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Calpurnia is the family's black housekeeper and has raised Jem and Scout and in many ways acted as their mother since their mother passed away four years prior to the beginning of the story.  She serves as a bridge between the worlds of black and white and also provides a great deal of love and support for Jem and Scout while also providing discipline and tough love when necessary.  Her place is a very respected one and obviously different in some ways because she is not in fact their mother.  Her devotion to the children is unquestioned and very impressive.

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