Why did Aunt Alexandra want to fire Calpurnia in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Alexandra does not feel that Calpurnia is needed since Alexandra is there, and she considers herself a better person to raise Scout and Jem

Scout doesn’t really care for her Aunt Alexandra.  Alexandra complains about her wearing overalls and generally disapproves of her.  She has also been heard to...

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Alexandra does not feel that Calpurnia is needed since Alexandra is there, and she considers herself a better person to raise Scout and Jem

Scout doesn’t really care for her Aunt Alexandra.  Alexandra complains about her wearing overalls and generally disapproves of her.  She has also been heard to say very derogatory things about Atticus, since he is defending a black man.  Like many in Maycomb, Alexandra’s response to this is racist. 

When the trial is getting underway, Alexandra just shows up one day at the Finch house.  She is there to help her brother.  Despite her comments about Atticus defending Tom Robinson, Alexandra does care about her brother and wants to support him. 

Unfortunately, Alexandra does not feel that Calpurnia should remain since she is there.  Alexandra does not feel that Scout and Jem are being properly raised, since Atticus does not have a wife and the children are on their own with Calpurnia.  She tries to get Atticus to let her go. 

“Atticus, it’s all right to be soft-hearted, you’re an easy man, but you have a daughter to think of. A daughter who’s growing up.”

“That’s what I am thinking of.”

“And don’t try to get around it. You’ve got to face it sooner or later and it might as well be tonight. We don’t need her now.” (Ch. 14)

Atticus disagrees.  He tells Alexandra that Calpurnia is not going anywhere until she wants to.  He knows she is part of the family, in a sense, and that they rely on her. 

This discussion comes up after Alexandra and Atticus learn that Scout and Jem went to church with Calpurnia.  Cal also offered to take them to her house, which Alexandra flatly refused to allow. As far as Alexandra is concerned, Calpurnia’s influence is not the one Scout needs.  She needs a woman in her life, but it needs to be a white woman who can show her the place in society she rightfully occupies.

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