Describe the importance of Calpurnia in the lives of the Finch family,
and in the novel as a whole.
Calpurnia is more than just a family cook to the Finch’s. She also
acts as the mother to Jem and Scout by helping to bring them up,
teaching them right from wrong, disciplining them and comforting them
when they were upset because their mother died when they were very
young. She has worked for the Finch’s for a very long time and has a
very firm control over the children which causes Scout to resent her.
Atticus trusts and supports Calpurnia because he considers her as a
very important member of the family. For example he says “Alexandra,
Calpurnia’s not leaving this house until she wants to. You may think
otherwise, but I couldn’t have got along without her all these years.
She’s a faithful member of this family and you’ll simply have to
accept things the way they are”, when Aunt Alexandra wanted to get rid
of her. When Aunt Alexandra came to live with Atticus, Jem and Scout
she told Atticus that she wanted to get rid of Calpurnia. This was
because Aunt Alexandra was very proper and snobbish so she agreed with
the people of Maycomb and the Southern attitudes about Negroes.
Calpurnia is intelligent and is one of the few Negroes in Maycomb who
can read and write. She even taught Scout how to write by setting her
tasks like copying a passage from the bible to keep her quite when she
was board, so she is important in teaching the children. She lives two
lives, one working for the Finch family who are white, and another at
her home with her fellow Negroes. She acts and speaks differently
around her friends and the children find this very surprising when
they find out.
Some of the main themes in To Kill a Mockingbird are Courage, Family,
Prejudice and Hatred and I think Calpurnia is important in all of
Calpurnia gives the children courage by telling them not to worry and
that every thing will be alright for instance during the time of the
court case and the leading up to it she told them to stay strong and
not to listen to what people are saying about Atticus or the...