Why are Jem and Scout so welcome at the First Purchase Church in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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First of all, Jem and Scout are the guests of Calpurnia, one of the church's most stalwart members. Secondly, they are the children of Atticus Finch, who is not only defending Tom Robinson, but (we find out later) is highly respected in the black community. Additionally, because of the Jim Crow laws established in the Deep South, and the manner in which African-Americans were mistreated by white authorities, it would not be a wise decision for a group of black adults to make the children unwelcome--even if they were the only white people at the church. Repercussions, not by Atticus, but by other white members of the town, could have been severe. Except for one person, Lula, who voiced her displeasure over Jem and Scout's appearance, the members of First Purchase Church seemed to be a peaceful, friendly and Christian group. Calpurnia would not have taken the children had she not already realized the positive reception they would receive.

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gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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As was mentioned in the previous post, Scout and Jem receive a warm welcome by the First Purchase African M.E. congregation because their father is valiantly defending one of their community members. Atticus Finch is highly respected throughout Maycomb's African American community, and the congregation expresses their joy by welcoming the Finch children with open arms. Jem and Scout are also Calpurnia's guests. Calpurnia is also a respected member of the African American community and is one of the few literate people in the church. Being that the members of First Purchase are so familiar with Atticus and Calpurnia, they naturally except Jem and Scout into their church. With the exception of Lula, Jem and Scout receive a warm welcome when they visit First Purchase African M.E. Church. 

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