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How does Harper Lee portray the relationship of Scout and Calpurnia?

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Introduction

How does Harper Lee portray the relationship of Scout and Calpurnia? Harper lee portrays the relationship of Scout and Calpurnia in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by describing what Calpurnia says to Scout, including some of the main themes of the book; prejudice, mainly racism and the social hierarchy. Between pages 29 to 31, Scout and Calpurnia's relationship is emphasised by the situation in hand. There are two main threads to these pages. One is Scout's lack of understanding of Walter's social position; the other is the pivotal nature of Calpurnia, in helping Scout to grow up as a decent young woman. With the naivet� born of childhood, Scout, can see no harm in telling Walter, he is wrong to put syrup on his meal. She cannot see the embarrassment she is causing to a child less fortunate than herself in monetary and social terms. Calpurnia understands how her comments affect Walter, as her own perceived social status is lower even than his, but without a mother to guide her, it falls to Cal, to educate Scout, appropriately. ...read more.

Middle

We know this when she says "She likes Jem better'n she likes me, anyway." This shows how Scout sees Cal, not as a motherly figure but as someone to get in her way, and to stop her from doing what she wanted. The fact that she also see's her as hired help, highlights the fact that even with Atticus, who is the most just, fair person, as a father, and the fact that Scout never means to be racist, that there is a slight factor of racism in there. As well as the social hierarchy factor that is present. Cal is only hired help to Scout, which shows that she believes that she has the right to boss Cal around, not the other way round, as Cal is neither a parent nor someone, who in Scouts eyes, should boss her around. Cal has a very strong relationship with Atticus. He trusts her to teach the children, especially Scout, life lessons, morals, just like him. He has faith in her, and treats her like an equal. ...read more.

Conclusion

The sentence "It was then that Calpurnia requested my presence in the kitchen" is isolated from the rest of the sentences, and is rather bold. The fact that Lee wrote "requested my presence" makes it sound like Scout thought she had a choice, whereas she did not. Further down on page 30, Lee wrote "He ain't company, Cal, he's just a Cunningham-" The fact that Scout calls Calpurnia "Cal" shows that they are friendly enough and have a basic level of respect that she can call Cal, Cal. Also the fact that Scout says Walter is not company but merely a Cunningham shows the hierarchy factor that works its way into the Finch family, although Atticus is such a fair person. Also, Cal cuts off Scout to tell her off. She says "Hush your mouth!" and continues to tell her that it doesn't matter who the company is, she is still the host, and must act like one. Therefore, Harper Lee portrays Scout and Calpurnia's relationship by writing about an incident that shows Cal's motherly affection for Scout and Scout's childish views on what is her surrogate mother. She views her as unfair, and mean. Harper Lee portrays this well. ?? ?? ?? ?? By Sarah Persov ...read more.

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