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Calpurnia: A Second Mother In To Kill A Mockingbird

1201 words - 5 pages

“Yo’ folks might be better’n the Cunninghams but it don’t count for nothin’ the way you’re disgracin’ ‘em if you can't act fit to eat at the table you can just sit here and eat in the kitchen!” This is just one of the many examples Calpurnia sets for the children. Calpurnia is the Finch’s cook but she takes her role in the children’s life more seriously. She acts as parent; constantly teaching the kids lessons about life and race. She serves as a bridge for Jem and Scout between the white and black communities. Calpurnia could be the mother Jem and Scout never had because she is wise, caring, and patient with the kids.
Wise is just one of the many characteristics that describe Calpurnia. Calpurnia explains the difficult parts of life and the complications in the racist county of Maycomb, Alabama. She puts real-life situations that the kids experience into easier context for them to understand. Calpurnia is wise when it comes to how you should treat people. When Scout and Jem brought Walter Cunningham, a boy who suffers from financial issues, home for dinner and Scout made fun of him for putting syrup on his dinner, Cal dragged her in the kitchen and said, “Hush your mouth! Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house’s yo’ comp’ny, and don’t let me catch you remarkin’ on their ways like you so high and mighty,” (Lee 33). This shows that Cal knows how to treat everyone fairly and equally. Scout went back into the kitchen, sat quietly, and finished her dinner. Another example of her wisdom is when Calpurnia was telling the kids that she taught Zeebo, her son, how to read. She said, “Yeah, Mister Jem. There wasn’t a school even when he was a boy. I made him learn though” (Lee 166). This shows that Calpurnia, unlike many other colored folks back then, can read. She shared her wisdom with her son by teaching him how to read. She also taught Jem and Scout how to read a little bit. This is one of the reasons why Scout does so well in school, Cal’s wisdom. As a result, the kids learn and grow as the book goes along. They also benefit greatly from her caring personality.
Since Calpurnia is so caring and good to the kids, they look at her as more than just the cook, they look at her as if she was a second mother. One day while Atticus was away for the day Calpurnia decided to take the kids to the all-black church with her. When she showed up with Jem and Scout she was getting nasty looks and comments from some of the other church-goers. She just ignored then and led the kids into the church. When church was let out and they began their walk home. This shows that Cal is caring enough to take the kids to church, knowing ahead of time that the other church members were not going to be happy. On their way home Scout asked if she could go visit Calpurnia at her home one day. Calpurnia responded with, “Any time you want to. We’d be glad to have you” (Lee 168). This also shows that Cal is willing to open her...

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