and find homework help for other To Kill a Mockingbird questions at eNotes. Calpurnia explains to Scout and Jem that she grew up between the Buford Place . 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. In "To Kill a Mockingbird", how does Scout and Calprunia's relationship too, when she sees first-hand how Calpurnia lives among her own, maintaining a.
Aunt Alexandra chastises him for remarking that Mr. Underwood "despises Negroes" in front of Calpurnia. But characteristically, Atticus responds, "'Anything fit to say at the table's fit to say in front of Calpurnia.
While Alexandra worries about appearances, Atticus constantly reminds her of reality. In the American South during the s, segregation was not only the norm, it was the law.
Blacks were given special places to sit, they often used separate entrances, and they used separate restrooms and drinking fountains.
How does Harper Lee portray the relationship of Scout and Calpurnia?
The fact that blacks can't sit on the main floor of the courtroom or that they have to let all the white people into the courthouse before they can begin going in themselves, is an accurate description of what would've happened at such a trial. When Reverend Skyes offers the children a seat in the "Colored balcony," they happily and naively accept.
They have no idea that they're breaking a cultural taboo. Many whites would miss the trial before they would sit amongst people of another race. Ironically, Scout feels like they have a better view from the balcony than they would from the floor — unfortunately, what they're going to see won't be pretty.
Significant, too, is that four black people rose to give the minister and three white children their front-row seats. Some would argue that they gave up their seats out of respect for Reverend Skyes; others may say that they gave up their seats out of respect for Atticus. In truth, they would be expected to give up their seats for any white person who wanted them. Lee introduces an interesting discussion of what makes a person a member of one race or another through the character of Dolphus Raymond — a white man, rumored to be a drunkard, with biracial children.
Worse than being black is being "mixed. Colored folks won't have 'em because they're half white; white folks won't have 'em 'cause they're colored, so they're just in-betweens, don't belong anywhere. Jem has discussed this topic with Uncle Jack, who says that they may have some black ancestors several generations back. Somewhat relieved, Scout determines that after so many generations, race doesn't count, but Jem says, "'around here once you have one drop of Negro blood, that makes you all black.
The importance of place again comes to light in these chapters. As the children watch the town heading for the courthouse, "Jem gave Dill the histories and general attitudes of the more prominent figures. What they take for granted is news to Dill, which forces them to look at their town in a different light.
Place is also important in the sense that Dill feels compelled to return to Maycomb, even though that means running away from home. Dill is unhappy with his new stepfather, but readers sense that summers in Maycomb have become part of Dill's sense of place. After two summers in Maycomb, he belongs there. Maycomb may not be a very nice town to live in if you aren't white, but for Dill, the town is a sanctuary when things are stormy elsewhere.
For Scout, Maycomb and her family are as much a part of her as her own skin. Listening to Dill's reasons for leaving his home, Scout "found myself wondering.
Even Calpurnia couldn't get along unless I was there. Later, she and Dill discuss why Boo Radley has never run away — he surely must not feel wanted. Dill muses that he must not have a safe haven "to run off to. Dill shows the last vestige of childhood innocence by being the only one of the three still scheming to get Boo Radley out of his house.
By suggesting that a trail of candy will make Boo leave his home, Dill still applies methods that would appeal to children, not adults. Jem demonstrates a new level of understanding when he refuses to keep Dill's presence a secret from Atticus.
Though calling Atticus means incurring the wrath of his peers, Jem realizes that Dill's family is also concerned.
Jem also moves one step closer to adulthood when he refuses to obey his father for the first time in his life. Scout explains, "In the midst of this strange assembly, Atticus stood trying to make Jem mind him. Scout attempts to keep up with Jem and his newfound wisdom — and is, in fact, headed toward a new level of maturity herself — but Jem's treatment of her makes clear to the reader that Scout is still very much a child, as yet incapable of understanding many of life's complex issues.
Lee's reinforcement of Scout's childishness in these chapters is a device that allows Scout the complete objectivity of a child while recounting the difficult events and issues that later surface in the trial. Bravery takes on a new role as the children face the mob threatening Atticus at the jail. Recognizing Atticus' bravery in going to the courthouse in the first place, Jem shows his bravery by refusing to leave his father with the group of men. Before Dill returned to Meridian after the summer, he went swimming with Jem at the Barker's Eddy creek.
Scout, unfortunately, was unable to participate, because both boys were swimming naked. Unlike Scout and Jem, Dill lacks the security of family support. He is unwanted and unloved by his mother and stepfather: This character is believed to be based on author Truman Capotea childhood friend of Harper Lee. She is highly regarded by Atticus. She is an important figure in Scout's life, providing discipline, instruction, and love.
She also fills the maternal role for the children after their mother's death. Calpurnia is a mother herself and raised her son, Zeebo, to adulthood. Calpurnia is one of the few black characters in the novel who is able to read and write, and it is she who taught Scout to write.
She learned how to read from Miss Maudie's aunt, Miss Buford, who taught her how to read out of Blackstone's Commentariesa book given to her. Aunt Alexandra despised Calpurnia because Alexandra believed that Calpurnia was not a "maternal figure" for Jem and Scout, especially for Scout.
Calpurnia is a member of the First Purchase M. African Church in Maycomb. While Scout always hears her speak proper English, she is surprised to learn that Calpurnia does not do so at church, especially with the uneducated members of the congregation.
While everyone in the novel is filtered through Scout's perception, Calpurnia in particular appears for a long time more as Scout's idea of her than as a real person. At the beginning of the novel, Scout appears to think of Calpurnia as the wicked stepmother to Scout's own Cinderella. However, towards the end of the book, Scout views Calpurnia as someone she can look up to, and realizes Calpurnia has only protected her over the years.
She is played by Estelle Evans in the film. Maycomb children believe he is a horrible person, due to the rumors spread about him and a trial he underwent as a teenager. It is implied during the story that Boo is a very lonely man who attempts to reach out to Jem and Scout for love and friendship, such as leaving them small gifts and figures in a tree knothole.
Scout finally meets him at the very end of the book, when he saves the children's lives from Bob Ewell. Scout describes him as being sickly white, with a thin mouth, thin and feathery hair, and grey eyes, almost as if he were blind.
During the same night, when Boo whispers to Scout to walk him back to the Radley house, Scout takes a moment to picture what it would be like to be Boo Radley. While standing on his porch, she realizes his "exile" inside his house is really not that lonely.
This can be read as a wise refusal of fame. As Tate notes, if word got out that Boo killed Ewell, Boo would be inundated with gifts and visits, calamitous for him due to his reclusive personality. The precocious Scout recognizes the danger: Boo Radley is a ghost who haunts the book yet manifests himself at just the right moments in just the right way. He is, arguably, the most potent character in the whole book and as such, inspires the other key characters to save him when he needs saving.
I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time… it's because he wants to stay inside. Bob Ewell is trying to murder the Finch children. No one sees what happens in the scuffle, but at the end of it, Ewell is dead and Boo carries an unconscious Jem to the Finch house.
Finally faced with Boo, Scout doesn't recognize him at first, but suddenly realizes who he is. Boo Radley is played by Robert Duvall in the film.
Judge John Taylor[ edit ] Judge John Taylor is a white-haired old man with a reputation for running his court in an informal fashion and an enjoyment of singing and dipping tobacco.
He presides over the Tom Robinson trial showing great distaste for the Ewells and great respect for Atticus. Because of the judge's sympathies for Tom, Bob Ewell breaks into the judge's house while the judge's wife is at church. After the trial, Miss Maudie points out to the children that the judge had tried to help Tom by appointing Atticus to the case instead of Maxwell Green, the new, untried lawyer who usually received court-appointed cases. Judge Taylor knew that Atticus was the only man who would stand a chance at acquitting Tom, or at least would be able to keep the jury thinking for more than just a few minutes.
By doing this, Judge Taylor was not giving in or supporting racism. He is portrayed in the film by Paul Fix. She had known the Finches for many years, having been brought up on the Buford place, which was near the Finches' ancestral home, Finch's Landing. She is described as a woman of about 50 who enjoys baking and gardening; her cakes are especially held in high regard.
However, she is frequently harassed by devout "Foot-Washing Baptists"who tell her that her enjoyment of gardening is a sin.
The Foot-Washing Baptists also believe that women are a sin as well. Miss Maudie befriends Scout and Jem and tells them stories about Atticus as a boy. It is strongly implied that she and Atticus have a more than platonic relationship.
Also, she is one of the few adults that Jem and Scout hold in high regard and respect. She does not act condescendingly towards them, even though they are young children. During the course of the novel, her house burns down; however, she shows remarkable courage throughout this even saying that she wanted to burn it down herself to make more room for her flowers.
She is not prejudiced, though she talks caustically to Miss Stephanie Crawford, unlike many of her Southern neighbors, and teaches Scout important lessons about racism and human nature. It is important to note that Miss Maudie fully explains that "it is a sin to kill a mockingbird", whereas Atticus Finch initially brings up the subject but doesn't go into depth. When Jem gets older, and doesn't want to be bothered by Scout, Miss Maudie keeps her from getting angry.
Maudie is played by Rosemary Murphy in the film. Lee "Bob" Ewell[ edit ] Robert E. He has a daughter named Mayella and a younger son named Burris, as well as six other unnamed children. He is an alcoholic, poaching game to feed his family because he spends whatever money they legally gain via government "relief checks" on alcohol.
It is implied, and evidence suggests, that he was the one who abused his daughter Mayella, not Tom Robinson the African American man accused of doing so. Although most everybody in town knows that the Ewells are a disgrace and not to be trusted, it is made clear that Tom Robinson was convicted because he is a Negro whose accuser is white.
Upon hearing of Tom's death, Bob is absolutely gleeful, gloating about his success. After being humiliated at the trial, however, he goes on a quest for revenge, becoming increasingly violent. He begins by spitting in Atticus' face, followed by a failed attempt to break into the home of Judge Taylor, then finally menacing Helen, the poor widow of Tom Robinson. Ewell later attempts to murder Jem and Scout Finch with a knife to complete his revenge.
Boo Radley saves Jem and Scout and it is believed that he kills Ewell with the knife.
List of To Kill a Mockingbird characters - Wikipedia
Heck Tate, the sheriff, puts in the official report that Bob Ewell fell on his own knife and died after lying under a tree for 45 minutes. Ewell is played by James Anderson in the film. Before the trial, Mayella is noted for growing red geraniums outside her otherwise dirty home in order to bring some beauty into her life. Due to her family's living situation, Mayella has no opportunity for human contact or love. She eventually gets so desperate that she attempts to seduce a black man, Tom Robinson, by saving up nickels to send her siblings to go get ice cream so that Mayella can be alone with Tom.
Her father sees this through a window and in punishment he beats her. Ewell then finds the sheriff, Heck Tateand tells him that his daughter has been raped and beaten by Tom.
At the trial, Atticus points out that only the right side of Mayella's face is injured, suggesting a left-handed assailant; Tom's left arm is mangled and useless, but Bob Ewell is left-handed.
When Atticus asks her if she has any friends, she becomes confused because she does not know what a friend is. During her testimony she is confused by Atticus' polite speech and thinks that his use of "Miss Mayella" is meant to mock her. She testifies against Tom Robinson.To Kill A Mockingbird - Atticus shoots a mad dog
Mayella is played by Collin Wilcox in the film. Atticus is assigned to defend him, and stands up to a lynch mob intent on exacting their own justice against him before the trial begins. Tom's left arm is crippled and useless, the result of an accident with a cotton gin when he was a child.
Atticus uses this fact as the cornerstone of his defense strategy, pointing out that the nature of Mayella's facial injuries strongly suggest a left-handed assailant.
Tom testifies that he had frequently helped Mayella with household chores because he felt sorry for her and the family's difficult life - a statement that shocks the all-white, male jury.
Despite Atticus' skilled defense, the jury's racial prejudices lead them to find Tom guilty. Atticus plans to appeal the verdict, but before he can do so, Tom is shot and killed while trying to escape the prison where he is being held. Tom Robinson is played by Brock Peters. She has a son named Henry and a very spoiled grandson named Francis. Around the middle of the book, Aunt Alexandra decides to leave her husband at Finch's Landing, the Finch family homestead to come stay with the Finches.
Aunt Alexandra doesn't consider the black Calpurnia to be a very good motherly figure for Jem and Scout; she disapproves of Scout being a tomboy and wants to make Scout into a southern belle encouraging her to act more 'lady like'. However, as the trial progresses, Scout comes to see how much her aunt cares for her father and what a strong woman she is.
This is especially evidenced by a tea party when Scout is horrified by the racism displayed, and her aunt and Miss Maudie help her deal with her feelings. By the end of the book, it's clear that Alexandra cares very much for her niece and nephew, though she and Scout will probably never really get along.
He is about 40, which is 10 years younger than Atticus. Jack smells like alcohol and something sweet, and is said that he and Alexandra have similar features. Jack is a childless doctor who can always make Scout and Jem laugh, and they adore him.
He and Miss Maudie are close to the same age; he frequently teases her with marriage proposals, which she always declines.
Jack also has a pet cat named Rose Aylmer, who is mentioned during the Christmas visit. The son of her son, Henry Hancock. Francis lives in Mobile, Alabamaand is a bit of a tattle-tale. He gets along well with Jem, but often spars with Scout. One Christmas, Francis calls Atticus a "nigger-lover," as well as insisting that he was ruining the family and the likes, which infuriates Scout and causes them to get into a fight. Francis lies about his role in it, telling Uncle Jack that Scout started it by calling him a "whore lady", and Jack therefore punishes Scout.
However, she explains the full story and charitably persuades her uncle not to punish Francis about it, but to let Atticus think they had been fighting about something else although Atticus later discovers the truth. Henry Lafayette Dubose[ edit ] Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose is an elderly woman who lives near the Finches. She is hated by the children, who run by her house to avoid her. Dubose as "plain hell. As a punishment, Jem is required to read to Mrs. Dubose each day for a month.
As Jem reads, she experiences a fit of drooling and twitching and does not seem to pay any attention to the words. When an alarm rings, Jem is allowed to leave for the day. She extends the punishment for one extra week and dies shortly after letting Jem go for the last time.
Atticus informs him that Mrs. Dubose was terminally ill and had become addicted to morphine. By reading to her, Jem had distracted her so that she could break the addiction. In thanks, she leaves him a candy box with a camellia flower in it; Jem burns the box in anger, but is later seen by Scout admiring the flower.
Atticus tells Jem that Mrs. Dubose was the bravest person he ever knew, and she was trying to teach Jem the importance of bravery and true courage to endure anything when the situation is hopeless, as in her morphine addiction.
Heck Tate[ edit ] Mr. Heck Tate is a friend of Atticus and also the sheriff of Maycomb County. He believes in protecting the innocent although he doesn't usually show it. At the end of the book, the Atticus and Heck argue over whether Jem or Boo Radley should be held responsible for the death of Bob Ewell. Heck eventually persuades Atticus to accept the theory that Ewell accidentally fell on his own knife, thus saving the harmless, reclusive Boo from the public exposure of a criminal trial.
Braxton Underwood[ edit ] Mr. Braxton Bragg Underwood is a news reporter and a friend of Atticus. He owns and also publishes The Maycomb Tribune. Being a racist, he disagrees with Atticus on principle. He also has a strong belief in justice, as exemplified when he defends Atticus from the Cunningham mob by having his double barrel shotgun loaded and ready to shoot them. He also demonstrates some humanity when he publishes a scathing editorial comparing the killing of Tom Robinson a cripple to "the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children".
Horace Gilmer[ edit ] Mr. Horace Gilmer is a lawyer from Abbottsville, and is the prosecuting attorney in the Tom Robinson case. Gilmer is between the ages of forty and sixty.
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Gilmer has a slight cast with one eye, which he uses to his advantage in trial. Gilmer appeared to be racist in his harsh cross-examination of Tom Robinson, but it is hinted at that he is in fact going easy on Tom.
He and Atticus are not rivals and talk to each other during recesses during the case. Reynolds[ edit ] Dr.
Reynolds is the Maycomb doctor. He is well known to Scout and Jem. Scout says that he "had brought Jem and me into the world, had led us through every childhood disease known to man including the time Jem fell out of the tree house, and he had never lost our friendship. Reynolds said that if we were boil-prone things would have been different He inspects Jem's broken arm and Scout's minor bruises after the attack from Bob Ewell under the tree. Dolphus Raymond[ edit ] Dolphus Raymond is a white landowner who is jaded by the hypocrisy of the white society and prefers to live among black folks.
In fact, he has children with a black woman. Dolphus pretends he is an alcoholic so that the people of Maycomb will have an excuse for his behavior, but in fact he only drinks Coca Cola out of a paper bag to try to hide it. When Dill and Scout discover that he is not a drunk, they are amazed. He shows Scout how sometimes you can pretend to be someone you're not so people will be more understanding of you.
Link Deas[ edit ] Link Deas owns cotton fields and a store in Maycomb who employs Tom and later Helen because she does not get accepted by any other employers in the county due to Tom Robinson's legal troubles. He announces to the court in defense of Tom at one point in the trial that he hadn't "had a speck o' trouble outta him" in the eight years Tom had been working for him, and gets sent out by Judge John Taylor for doing so. When Bob Ewell starts threatening Helen after the trial, Mr.
Deas fiercely defends her and threatens to have Mr. Ewell arrested if he keeps bothering her. He is on Tom Robinson's side during the trial and remains loyal to the family afterward. She attempts to teach the first grade class using a new system which she learned from taking certain college courses Jem mistakenly refers to it as the " Dewey Decimal System ", which is really how library books are organized. She is upset by Scout's advanced reading capabilities and believes that Scout is receiving lessons from Atticus.