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Calpurnia: A Second Mother in To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

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“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 Cal...


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...edicament. Jem and Scout benefit greatly from this trait because as the book goes along, they learn how to talk out their problems and not jump to conclusions. They also learn to see the whole problem through.
Calpurnia works for the Finch’s and she cooks for the Finch’s, but Jem and Scout look at her as more than a person who works for them. They look at her as if she is one of the family. She is a good guardian and she is a great role model for the kids. Together, she and Atticus will raise the kids so they can grow up to be just as respectful and well-mannered as their role models. Calpurnia is like the silent hero in the background, she is quiet, but powerful. She positively affects the kids’ lives in ways that they will never forget. All in all, Calpurnia proves that she is fit to be the kids’ second mother with her wisdom, care, and patience.




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