In To Kill a Mockingbird, who is Calpurnia and what is she like? Include two quotations about her.

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Calpurnia is the Finch family's African American maid and cook, who acts as Jem and Scout 's surrogate mother throughout the novel. Calpurnia is portrayed as a rather strict woman, who is honest with the children and tries her best to instill character in them. Calpurnia constantly reprimands Scout for...

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Calpurnia is the Finch family's African American maid and cook, who acts as Jem and Scout's surrogate mother throughout the novel. Calpurnia is portrayed as a rather strict woman, who is honest with the children and tries her best to instill character in them. Calpurnia constantly reprimands Scout for her impulsive and sometimes rude behavior but seems to get along with Jem rather well because he is more mature than Scout. Calpurnia shows Jem and Scout tough love and the children are surprised to learn that she is one of the few educated African American citizens. In chapter 12, Scout and Jem visit First Purchase African M.E. Church with Calpurnia and gain valuable insight into Cal's personal life. Scout says,

That Calpurnia led a modest double life never dawned on me. The idea that she had a separate existence outside our household was a novel one, to say nothing of her having command of two languages (Lee, 127).

In chapter 14, Aunt Alexandra argues that Calpurnia is a negative influence on the children. Atticus strongly disagrees with Alexandra and responds to his sister by saying,

"If anything, she’s [Calpurnia] been harder on them in some ways than a mother would have been . . . she’s never let them get away with anything, she’s never indulged them the way most colored nurses do. She tried to bring them up according to her lights, and Cal’s lights are pretty good" (Lee, 138).

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Calpurnia is the Finch family's valued African-American housekeeper in To Kill a Mockingbird. Calpurnia serves as surrogate mother to Jem and Scout, whose own mother died of a heart attack when Scout was just a baby. She is strong-willed and strict, but occasionally shows her soft side, which usually surprises Scout. Calpurnia is well-educated and taught Scout how to write cursive. She is an excellent cook (though maybe not as good as Aunt Alexandra or Miss Maudie) who has a grown child (Zeebo) herself. She lives in the Quarters, and Atticus usually drives her home every evening, though she sometimes stays overnight on a foldout cot in the kitchen. Calpurnia

... was all angles and bones; she was nearsighted; she squinted; her hand was as wide as a bed slat and twice as hard.

Calpurnia had Atticus' complete confidence, and when Aunt Alexandra tries to convince Atticus to dismiss her, he calls her a member of the family.

Our battles were epic and one-sided. Calpurnia always won, mainly because Atticus always took her side.

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