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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, what does Scout mean when she asks to ''see'' Calpurnia?

In To Kill a Mockingbird, when Scout asks if she can "see" Calpurnia, she is asking if she can visit Calpurnia's home sometime.

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In chapter 12, Atticus leaves town for work, and Calpurnia decides to take Jem and Scout with her to Sunday service at First Purchase African M. E. Church. Jem and Scout gain valuable insight into Maycomb's black community during their visit and are astonished by the various differences between their church and First Purchase. The Finch children notice that there are no programs or hymnals in the church and are surprised by the way the congregation uses a technique called lining to sing the hymns in unison. Following the service, Jem and Scout begin asking Calpurnia personal questions about her background and discover that she is one of the few literate members of her community.

Scout is also amazed by Calpurnia's ability to code switch according to her audience and is very impressed by her "modest double life." As they are leaving the church, Scout asks if she can come "see" Calpurnia someday. Cal responds by saying, "See me, honey? You see me every day" (Lee, 127). Scout replies by saying, "Out to your house... Sometimes after work? Atticus can get me" (Lee, 127). Essentially, Scout is asking if she can come visit Calpurnia at her home sometime. Cal politely tells Scout that she is more than welcome to come over anytime she pleases. In chapter 14, Scout asks Atticus if she can visit Cal's home the following Sunday. Unfortunately, Aunt Alexandra interrupts their conversation and forbids Scout from going to Cal's house, which leads to a serious argument between Atticus and his sister.

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