Evidence that Calpurnia is respected

You could include some of the following points in your essay:

  • Calpurnia has established a respected place in the Finch family through years of dedicated service and through the love she has shown the children.
  • She is respected as a mother figure by Scout and Jem
  • She is a positive female role model for Scout, “… by watching her I began to think that there was some skill involved in being a girl”.
  • She is strict and does not waver in her authority, “Our battles were epic and one-sided."
  • Calpurnia becomes more respected and valued by Scout as she grows up. Scout's attitude towards Calpurnia changes when she goes to school, “Calpurnia’s tyranny, unfairness, and meddling in my business had faded to gentle grumblings of general disapproval. On my part, I went to much trouble sometimes not to provoke her."
  • Calpurnia is more respected by the children than Aunt Alexandra is. She is more liberal and understanding than Aunt Alexandra, who is obsessed with family and tradition.
  • Calpurnia's “other life” intrigues the children. They have been inspired by their experience at her church – Scout wants to visit Calpurnia’s home.
  • Calpurnia’s intelligence is respected and admired by the children. They are surprised to hear that she taught her son to read and write from old law books, “Jem was thunderstruck. ‘You mean you taught Zeebo outa that?’”
  • She is held in high esteem by Atticus. He relies on her to look after the children, especially in his absence.
  • Calpurnia’s position is respected by Atticus. He pays her a fair wage and considers her “a faithful member of this family”. In contrast, Mrs Merriweather pays Sophy “her dollar and a quarter every week” and - in racist terms - refers to her as a “sulky darky”.
  • Calpurnia’s authority is supported and respected by Atticus, “Calpurnia always won, mainly because Atticus always took her side."
  • She is defended by Atticus, “We couldn’t operate a single day without Cal, have you ever thought of that?” He refuses to sack her, emphasising to Aunt Alexandra how much he and the children have grown to rely on her.
  • She is treated as the family’s equal by Atticus, "Anything fit to say at the table’s fit to say in front of Calpurnia."
  • What she does for the family is appreciated by Atticus, “You think about how much Cal does for you, and you mind her, you hear?”
  • Her opinion regarding Tom Robinson is respected, “He’s a member of Calpurnia’s church, and Cal knows his family well. She says they’re clean-living folks."
  • Calpurnia’s moral standards are admired and respected by Atticus, “she tried to bring them up according to her lights, and Cal’s lights are pretty good”.
  • She is trusted by Atticus in times of crisis and she is respected as an important bridge between the black and white communities. She accompanies Atticus to inform the Robinson family of Tom’s death.