What is Calpurnia’s role?

Answered by Michael Wilson

Calpurnia is more than just the Finch family’s cook. She is like a second mother to Scout and Jem, and plays a crucial role in their upbringing. She is their caretaker, their protector, and their guide through the complexities of life in their small town.

One of Calpurnia’s main responsibilities is taking care of the children. She not only cooks for them but also ensures that they are well-behaved, disciplined, and educated. Calpurnia teaches them important life lessons, such as the importance of respect, empathy, and understanding. She helps them navigate the social dynamics of Maycomb and teaches them about racial equality and tolerance in a time when such ideas were not widely accepted.

Calpurnia’s role extends beyond the confines of the Finch household. She accompanies the children to church, exposing them to a different community and culture. Through this experience, Scout and Jem learn about the African-American community and the struggles they face in a segregated society. Calpurnia acts as a bridge between these two worlds, helping the children develop empathy and compassion for those different from themselves.

Furthermore, Calpurnia is a source of wisdom and guidance for the children. She offers them advice and answers their questions, even when they pertain to difficult topics such as racism and injustice. Calpurnia’s experiences and perspectives provide a different lens through which Scout and Jem can view the world, challenging their preconceived notions and encouraging them to think critically.

Calpurnia’s role as a caregiver is also evident in her interactions with Atticus. She supports him in his role as a single father, offering her insights and opinions on how to raise Scout and Jem. Calpurnia’s presence allows Atticus to fulfill his duties as a lawyer while knowing that his children are in capable hands.

In addition to her caretaking role, Calpurnia also serves as a housekeeper. She maintains a clean and organized household, ensuring that the Finch family is comfortable and well taken care of. She handles the day-to-day tasks of running the household and ensures that everything is in order.

Calpurnia’s role in the Finch family is multifaceted and vital. She is not just a cook, but a mother figure, teacher, mentor, and friend to Scout and Jem. Through her presence and guidance, she helps shape their understanding of the world and the values they hold dear. Calpurnia’s impact on the children is immeasurable, and her role in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird is integral to its themes of justice, empathy, and the importance of standing up for what is right.