Calpurnia a character study by alex spofford

Calpurina is one of the main characters in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mocking Bird, she is older black women who is frail and thin, she is nearsighted and often squints to see. "Calpurnia was something else again. She was all angles and bones; she was nearsighted; she squinted; her hand was as wide as a bed slat and twice as hard."(Lee 6-7)

Calpurnia is a women of many good personality traits, one being she is the Jem and Scout's responsible mother figure she taught Scout how to read and write to educate her and to keep her out of trouble, "She would set me a writing task by scrawling the alphabet firmly across the top of a tablet, then copying out a chapter of the bible beneath." (Lee 24)

Calpurina is also smarter than most colored people in Maycomb County, she knows how to read and write being taught by Atticus. "When in tranquility, her grammar was as good as anybody's in Maycomb. Atticus said Calpurina had more education than most colored folks." (Lee 32)

Being the only mother figure in Jem and Scout's life, she is also the disciplinarian. Calpurina is not afraid to set the kids straight when they do wrong, especially with Scout. "Calpurina sent me through the swinging door to the dining room with a stinging smack."(Lee 33)

Calpurnia is a good person with many good personality traits, on the other hand she does has some of the biggest conflicts, one being an internal conflict of two personalities, when she is at home with The Finch's she acts differently vs when she is around colored people. "That Calpurina led a modest double life never dawned on me. The idea that she had a separate existence outside our household was a novel one, to say nothing of her having command of two languages." (Lee 167)

Like most colored folks back in the early 1930's, she faced the external conflict of discrimination of not only her color but of how she took care of Jem and Scout. She deals with discrimination from white people and colored people, having the feeling no matter what she does society is always out to get her. "You go no business bringin' white chillum here-they got their church, and we got our'n. It is our church, ain't, Miss Cal."(Lee 119)

In conclusion, Calpurnia is a women who is strong, stubborn, brave and intelligent. She makes a great role model for Jem and Scout and sets a good example for the community. Even though she does seem to have a split personality she does not let it get in her way of taking care of jem and scout.

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