Question 3: Calpurnia is the African-American cook and housekeeper for the Finches. She acts as a mother figure and disciplinarian in the Finch household. In some ways, she even takes the place of Scout and Jem's dead mother. Atticus trusts Calpurnia, relies on her for support raising his children, and considers her as part of the family. Calpurnia’s characters towards the children make them close to her. She is a loving and caring person. In this novel, Calpurnia’s loving character makes the children comfortable with her.
Their mother died when Scout was only two and Jem was four years older than her. Therefore, they are lack of mother’s love. As the nanny for the children, she treats them like her own children. She really takes care about them. For instance, Atticus said to Aunt Alexandra that “I don’t think the children’ve suffered one bit from her having brought them up. If anything she’s been harder on them in some ways than a mother would have been. She’s never let them get away with anything, she’s never indulged them the way most colored nurses do. This reflects that Calpurnia care for the children as a mother should be. On the other hands, she is also a responsible person as a nanny and a part of Atticus’s family. She always thinks that it is her responsibility to take a good care towards the children. She never omits the children and let them without any supervision. As the evidence, “I don’t want anybody sayin’ I don’t look after my children. ” Besides, she always advises the children to behave in a good manner. As example, she asked Scout to respect Walter Cunningham when they are having dinner with him.
For instance, “Hush your mouth! Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house’s yo’ comp’ny, and don’t you let me catch you remarking’ on their ways like you was so high and mighty! ” Other than that, she is also a strict person. For example, “She tried to bring them up according to her lights, and Cal’s lights are pretty good-and another thing, the children love her. ” However, the children feel comfortable with her even though they have to obey her rules. Besides being a responsible ‘mother’, she also showed as someone who is protective.
She always protects the children in whatever situation. She has never let the children be in danger. For instance, she protects the children when the mad dog came. “Calpurnia stared, then grabbed us by the shoulders and ran us home. She shut the wood door behind us, went to the telephone and shouted, “Gimme Mr,Finch’s office! ” Moreover, she defends the children when Lula tries to provoke the children in the black’s church. She told Lula that, “They’s my comp’ny. ” This shows that she treat the children like her own family. Black community are always been consider as uneducated people.
However, Calpurnia is different compared to them. She is an educated person. She can write and read very well. For instance, “When in traquility, her grammar was as good as anybody’s in Maycomb. Atticus said Calpurnia had more education than most colored folks. ” Apart from that, she can speak with a good English language and also colloquial language. In the Finch’s' house she speaks the very correct English of an educated person but at church she converses in her friends' dialect so they will not feel she is trying to act superior to them.
Calpurnia’s characters help Atticus a lot in managing the family. She is a protective like a father, loving and caring as a mother and educated like a teacher, which mean a lot to the children. Scout and Jem learnt many things from her for becoming a good human being. In a nutshell, Calpurnia deserve a good treatment from the family. She has done a good job to rise up the children. The children have grown to be a better person because of her although they do not have a mother.
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