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

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vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

brittany14 | Student

besides that she is black she is also the cooker nanny and mom kinda since there mom died so she shows them her life and other things

philcamlin | Student

I'm doing this book in english now

it really makes no sense whatsoever but

from my notes she takes them to church shows them her side of the world

she is also a cook and is considered a part of the family

tivu | Student

She is a cook/caretaker/overseer of the Finch household. She brings in the view point of a black person into the house. She is the children’s bridge between the white world and her own black community. (example: in the First Purchase church chapter 12)

coolgirl | Student

hi dragana  i just wanted to help you with the unswer because we did that novel last month. 

Calpurnia she is the fiches black cook and her place is that she helps Aticus to look after Scout and Jem since their mother passed away.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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