how does aunt alexandra feel about calpurnia

“The Complex Relationship between Aunt Alexandra and Calpurnia in To Kill a Mockingbird”

Aunt Alexandra’s Initial Disapproval of Calpurnia

Aunt Alexandra and Calpurnia

From the moment Aunt Alexandra arrives in Maycomb to stay with the Finch family, it is evident that she disapproves of their longtime housekeeper, Calpurnia. Considering Calpurnia as an outsider, Aunt Alexandra denies her presence and excludes her from the family’s social circle.

While Aunt Alexandra wants to maintain the social status of the Finch family, she sees Calpurnia as a reflection of her own status in the community. Aunt Alexandra feels that Calpurnia is not the right fit for the family since she is not educated and holds different values. Aunt Alexandra’s disapproval of Calpurnia also indicates her belief in racial hierarchy, which is prevalent in Maycomb.

Her views are quite apparent when she admonishes Atticus for allowing Calpurnia to take Jem and Scout to the First Purchase African M.E. Church, an act that Aunt Alexandra considers “unbecoming” of a Finch.

Furthermore, Aunt Alexandra’s attitudes towards Calpurnia’s longstanding presence in the Finch household and her relationship with the children indicate her inability to recognize the meaning of family beyond the conventional societal norms.

Aunt Alexandra’s Beliefs and Values

Aunt Alexandra in To Kill a Mockingbird

Aunt Alexandra, a prominent character in Harper Lee’s famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird, values tradition and social hierarchy. To her, the importance of upholding tradition and adhering to social expectations outweighs many other factors. This is why she has a particular view of Calpurnia, the Finch family’s African-American housekeeper.

From Aunt Alexandra’s perspective, Calpurnia is not fit to raise Atticus’s children because of her race and background. In Alexandra’s view, Calpurnia cannot provide the kind of traditional upbringing that the children need and expect. She believes that the children must be raised by their own kind and that Calpurnia is not capable of instilling the values and traditions that the Finch family holds dear.

Furthermore, Aunt Alexandra believes that traditional gender roles must be preserved, and she sees Calpurnia as a threat to this ideal. She believes that women have a specific role in society, and that role does not include household chores or child-rearing. Thus, Aunt Alexandra would rather see Scout and Jem raised by a white woman who adheres to traditional gender roles.

Aunt Alexandra’s beliefs are not uncommon during that time period, as segregation and racism were still prevalent in many parts of the United States. However, Atticus, her brother, does not share these beliefs, and this is where the conflict arises. Atticus sees Calpurnia as a valued member of their family who has taken on the role of not just a housekeeper, but also a caregiver and educator for the children.

Throughout the novel, Aunt Alexandra’s beliefs clash with Atticus’s liberal views. However, towards the end of the novel, Aunt Alexandra realizes the error of her ways and begins to understand and appreciate Atticus’s point of view. She becomes softer and more empathetic and comes to recognize the humanity in Calpurnia, as well as in others who do not fit the traditional mold that society has established.

In conclusion, Aunt Alexandra’s beliefs and values are shaped by the social norms and expectations of her time, which emphasize the importance of tradition and social hierarchy. Calpurnia, as an African-American housekeeper, does not conform to these norms and is thus seen as unfit to raise Atticus’s children. However, Aunt Alexandra’s views change as the novel progresses, and she ultimately comes to see the value of people like Calpurnia who do not fit the traditional mold.

Aunt Alexandra’s Attempts to Replace Calpurnia

Aunt Alexandra and Calpurnia

Aunt Alexandra is a character in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. She is a traditionalist who believes in maintaining the status quo and upholding the values of the Southern white society. Alexandra is also Scout’s aunt and Atticus’s sister. Despite the fact that Calpurnia has been a loyal servant to the Finch family for many years, Aunt Alexandra decides to try and replace her with someone who fits her own idea of a “suitable” housekeeper.

Aunt Alexandra believes that a “proper” housekeeper should be a white woman who is genteel and has the same values as the Finch family. Alexandra is of the view that Calpurnia’s way of doing things is not “right” and that she should not be allowed to raise Scout and Jem. In Aunt Alexandra’s mind, Calpurnia is only fit to serve the family as a cook and a maid.

To replace Calpurnia, Aunt Alexandra tries out a number of other women from the community. These women are considered to be respectable and fit the societal norms that Alexandra is trying to maintain. However, none of them are able to match Calpurnia’s level of competence and devotion to the family. She is not just a maid or a cook but also a caretaker and a mediator for the children. Calpurnia is sensitive to their needs and is always there to offer guidance whenever required.

Aunt Alexandra’s attempts to replace Calpurnia only highlight her own prejudices and inability to see beyond societal norms. Calpurnia is an integral part of the family and has been so for many years. Despite this, Aunt Alexandra tries to force her own views onto the family and push Calpurnia out. But her efforts are in vain. Calpurnia remains an important figure in the children’s lives and her absence is felt when she is not around.

In conclusion, Aunt Alexandra’s attempts to replace Calpurnia showcase her inability to accept people who do not conform to her ideas of what is “right” and “proper”. Calpurnia, on the other hand, is a symbol of the changing times and the need to accept people for who they are, not just based on societal norms. Her presence in the Finch family is a testament to the fact that people from different backgrounds can come together and form a strong bond of love and respect.

Aunt Alexandra’s Change of Heart

Aunt Alexandra's Change of Heart

Throughout the course of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Aunt Alexandra is depicted as a traditional and strict Southern woman who values social status and adheres to strict roles of gender and race. As a result, she is initially wary and disapproving of Calpurnia, the Finch family’s African American cook and maid. However, after the trial of Tom Robinson, Aunt Alexandra’s attitude towards Calpurnia undergoes a significant transformation.

Before the trial, Aunt Alexandra sees Calpurnia as an outsider, someone who does not belong in the Finch family because of her race. Aunt Alexandra disapproves of Scout spending too much time with Calpurnia and even attempts to fire her, believing that her presence in the house is causing moral decay and will tarnish the family’s reputation. This outlook is not uncommon in the society of Maycomb in the 1930s, where segregation and prejudice are the norm.

However, during and after the trial, Aunt Alexandra begins to see Calpurnia in a new light. Calpurnia plays an instrumental role in keeping Jem and Scout safe during the trial, and her actions demonstrate her loyalty and devotion to the family. Furthermore, Calpurnia’s role as a mother figure to Scout highlights her kindness and nurturing nature, qualities that Aunt Alexandra had previously overlooked. As a result, Aunt Alexandra begins to recognize Calpurnia as an integral part of the family and begins to treat her with more respect.

One pivotal moment that highlights Aunt Alexandra’s change of heart occurs when she invites her missionary circle over to the Finch household. Rather than dismissing Calpurnia and preventing her from entering the living room as she had previously done, Aunt Alexandra urges Calpurnia to join the party and even compliments her cooking. This action demonstrates Aunt Alexandra’s newfound acceptance of Calpurnia and her role as a valued member of the family, rather than just a hired help.

In conclusion, Aunt Alexandra’s change of heart towards Calpurnia is an important and poignant moment in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It showcases the power of empathy and understanding in challenging oppressive societal norms and biases. By recognizing Calpurnia’s worth and importance to the family, Aunt Alexandra demonstrates that change and growth are possible, even in the most deeply ingrained of prejudices.

Aunt Alexandra’s Initial Prejudices Against Calpurnia

Aunt Alexandra and Calpurnia

Aunt Alexandra’s initial prejudices against Calpurnia stem from her upbringing and societal norms. Growing up in a rigidly structured society, Aunt Alexandra was conditioned to believe that certain attributes are expected from people of different races, social classes, and genders. Calpurnia, being a Black woman working as a housekeeper, does not fit into Aunt Alexandra’s narrow definition of the perfect, Southern Lady.

Aunt Alexandra’s prejudices are further reinforced by the society around her, which perpetuates stereotypes and discriminatory beliefs. For example, Aunt Alexandra views Black people as “children” who need to be controlled and guided by their White masters. She also expects Calpurnia to behave a certain way in front of guests and family members, treating her as more of a servant than a valued member of the household.

However, as the story unfolds, Aunt Alexandra’s views on Calpurnia begin to change. She is moved by Calpurnia’s loyalty to the family and her ability to bridge the gap between Black and White communities. For instance, when Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to her church, Aunt Alexandra sees a side of Calpurnia that she had not noticed before. She realizes that Calpurnia is not only a capable housekeeper but also a compassionate human being who cares deeply for others.

The Impact of Environment on One’s Beliefs and Values

Environment and beliefs

Aunt Alexandra’s evolution towards Calpurnia serves as a poignant reminder of how our environment can shape our beliefs and values. Growing up in a world where segregation was the norm, Aunt Alexandra did not have the opportunity to interact with Black people on an equal footing. As a result, she has a limited understanding of who they are and what they are capable of. However, her exposure to Calpurnia’s world challenges her preconceptions and broadens her perspective on race and class.

Similarly, in the classroom, educators can use this concept to encourage critical thinking and challenging of societal norms. By examining the historical and social influences that have shaped our beliefs, students can gain a deeper understanding of the world around them. They can learn to scrutinize sources of information and question the validity of long-standing stereotypes and prejudices. By doing so, they can develop a more nuanced and balanced view of the world.

Encouraging Critical Thinking and Challenging of Societal Norms in Students

Critical thinking

As educators, our role goes beyond transmitting factual knowledge. We must also empower our students to think critically and independently. By teaching them to question the world around them, we can help them become informed and engaged citizens. One way to do this is to encourage them to challenge societal norms and stereotypes.

For instance, students can analyze the media they are exposed to, looking for representations of race, gender, and class. They can also examine the historical roots of systemic inequalities and reflect on how they affect different groups in society. By doing so, they can begin to see how societal norms can perpetuate harmful beliefs and behaviors.

Moreover, students can learn to recognize their own biases and work towards overcoming them. Through discussions and debates, they can learn to appreciate different points of view and engage in respectful dialogue with others. By building these skills, students can become more empathetic and reflective individuals who are better equipped to navigate the complex challenges of the 21st century.



Aunt Alexandra’s initial prejudices against Calpurnia highlight the impact of environment on one’s beliefs and values. However, her transformation over the course of the story shows that it is possible to challenge long-standing biases and broaden one’s perspective. As educators, we can use this concept to encourage critical thinking and challenging of societal norms in our students. By doing so, we can help them become informed, engaged citizens who are better equipped to navigate the complexities of the modern world.

Aunt Alexandra’s Initial Disapproval of Calpurnia

aunt alexandra and calpurnia

At the beginning of the novel, Aunt Alexandra expresses her disapproval of Calpurnia to Atticus. She believes that it is inappropriate for a black woman to be serving a white family, especially since they have children in the house. Aunt Alexandra highlights her belief that blacks and whites should not mix and that Calpurnia’s presence could have a negative impact on Jem and Scout’s upbringing.

Calpurnia’s Contribution to the Family

calpurnia to kill a mockingbird

Despite Aunt Alexandra’s disapproval, Calpurnia is an integral part of the Finch family. She takes on the role of a second mother, caring for Jem and Scout when Atticus is not around. She is a strict but loving presence in their lives, teaching them important life lessons and helping them navigate the complexities of their small town. Calpurnia’s presence in the household is also a reminder of the racial inequality that exists in Maycomb.

Aunt Alexandra’s Change of Heart

aunt alexandra to kill a mockingbird

As the novel progresses, Aunt Alexandra’s relationship with Calpurnia changes. This is particularly evident when Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to her church and Aunt Alexandra comes to visit. In this scene, we see Aunt Alexandra interact with Calpurnia’s community, and we see her begin to understand the importance of accepting people from different backgrounds. By the end of the novel, Aunt Alexandra has come to accept Calpurnia as a valued member of the family.

The Role of Societal Norms

societal norms

Aunt Alexandra’s initial disapproval of Calpurnia is influenced by the societal norms of the time. Racism and segregation were deeply ingrained in Southern culture, and it was uncommon for black women to work in white households. Aunt Alexandra is a product of this culture, and her beliefs reflect the attitudes of many people in Maycomb. However, over the course of the novel, we see Aunt Alexandra begin to challenge these norms and grow as a person.

The Potential for Growth and Change

to kill a mockingbird

The relationship between Aunt Alexandra and Calpurnia is a powerful reminder of the potential for growth and change in individuals. Aunt Alexandra’s initial disapproval of Calpurnia is based on her ingrained beliefs and prejudices, but over time she is able to challenge these beliefs and learn to accept those who are different from her. This growth is indicative of the potential for change in all of us. It serves as a reminder that we should always be open to learning from others and challenging our own beliefs and biases.


calpurnia and aunt alexandra

The complex relationship between Aunt Alexandra and Calpurnia in “To Kill a Mockingbird” highlights the power of societal norms and the potential for growth and change in individuals. Aunt Alexandra’s initial disapproval of Calpurnia was based on the racial prejudices of the time, but over the course of the novel, we see her challenge her beliefs and grow as a person. This growth is a powerful reminder that we should always be open to learning from others and challenging our own biases in order to become better, more compassionate people.

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