Calpurnia Character Response Plan

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Paragraph 1: Cal's role within Jem and Scouts lives.
Paragraph 2: Cal's role within Atticus' life.
Paragraph 3: The links between the black and white communities.
Paragraph 4: Hope and foreshadow of the Civil Rights movement
Cal is the female figure in the house for Jem and Scout, this is significant because their mother died when they
were both very little. Cal comforts Scout after her first day at school and makes her "crackling bread".
She is stern "I seldom pleased her and she seldom pleased me", this again adds to the mother figure that Cal
Calpurnia is the link between the black and white communities. She presents the world of Maycomb to the
children from a black person's point of view when she takes the children to the Black person's church in
chapter 12. This helps Jem and Scout understand the court case of Tom Robinson and to help them recognise
the prejudice in Maycomb.
Black women in the 1930s were not well respected. This can be seen by how Aunt Alexandra treats her.
In the book, she is one of the characters that represents the black community in the 1930s Great Depression.
In the eyes of the children, she is much like Atticus. Calpurnia teaches both Jem and Scout manners and what
is right/wrong. An example of when she disciplines Scout in the part of the novel when Walter Cunningham
comes over to the Finches and puts syrup on his meat. Cal also explains (much like Atticus) that everyone
should be equal.
Whilst going to church the children realise how Cal leads her life outside of the Finch's house. She leads a
double life. She must change the way she speaks around the white community in comparison to the black
Cal shows hope for the community of black people. She has an education, unlike most black people in
Maycomb. This could foreshadow the civil rights movement that happens when Harper Lee wrote the novel in
the 1950s.
Calpurnia is not only significant to the plot of To Kill a Mockingbird, but she is also important to the characters
within. Whilst she is mainly associated with her role with Jem and Scout, she also is trusted by Atticus. Cal
provides support for Atticus when Tom Robinson dies.
Cal is a constant figure in the Finch family.
Although slavery had been abolished in 1865, her role is still below that of the Finches as she is a maid.
However, she still is respected more than most black people in Maycomb because of her connection with an
upper class white family ­ the Finches. On the surface, a maid seems not to be an important job but actually
she is one of the closest people to Jem and Scout and really affects the way they grow up.
Scout is the narrator of the story and you can see her opinions change about Calpurnia. At the beginning of
the book Scout resents her discipline. Due to Scout being a child, the audience have to interpret that
Calpurnia cares about the children much like Atticus.


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