Calpurnia To Kill A Mockingbird Quotes


Calpurnia is one of the most memorable characters in Harper Lee’s timeless novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” As the Finch family’s housekeeper and nanny, she plays a pivotal role in the upbringing of Scout and Jem, instilling important values and life lessons. Throughout the book, Calpurnia delivers several thought-provoking quotes that resonate with readers. These quotes shed light on her wisdom, strength, and unwavering moral compass. Let’s explore some of Calpurnia’s most powerful quotes from “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

1. “There’s some folks who don’t eat like us, but you ain’t called on to contradict ’em at the table when they don’t.” – Calpurnia emphasizes the importance of respecting others’ differences, even when it comes to their dining habits. This quote teaches us the value of acceptance and inclusivity.

2. “You ain’t makin’ me go nowhere, missus. I works for Atticus Finch, an’ he never told me I had to do nothin’ like that for you.” – Calpurnia stands up for herself when Aunt Alexandra tries to dismiss her. This quote showcases Calpurnia’s resilience and refusal to be treated as inferior.

3. “It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.” – Calpurnia imparts this wisdom to Scout after she is insulted by a classmate. This quote teaches us the power of resilience and not allowing others’ opinions to define our self-worth.

4. “Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house’s yo’ comp’ny, and don’t you let me catch you remarkin’ on their ways like you was so high and mighty!” – Calpurnia reprimands Scout for criticizing Walter Cunningham’s behavior. This quote underscores Calpurnia’s belief in treating everyone with respect and kindness, regardless of their background.

5. “I just hope that Jem and Scout come to me for their answers instead of listening to the town. I hope they trust me enough.” – Calpurnia expresses her desire to guide Jem and Scout through life. This quote highlights Calpurnia’s role as a mentor and her dedication to nurturing the children’s moral compass.

Now, let’s delve into seven other quotes from “To Kill a Mockingbird” that touch upon similar themes:

1. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus Finch reminds Scout and Jem about the importance of empathy and understanding.

2. “People generally see what they look for and hear what they listen for.” – Atticus Finch imparts this wisdom, reminding us of the power of perception and how it shapes our reality.

3. “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” – Atticus Finch emphasizes the significance of following one’s own moral compass, even when it goes against societal norms.

4. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.” – Miss Maudie explains the concept of mockingbirds as innocent beings who should not be harmed, symbolizing the theme of innocence in the book.

5. “Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It’s knowing you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” – Atticus Finch teaches his children about the true meaning of courage, emphasizing determination and integrity.

6. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus Finch reminds Scout and Jem about the importance of empathy and understanding.

7. “Remember, it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” – Atticus Finch imparts this lesson to his children, symbolizing the need to protect innocence and kindness in the world.

Now, let’s gather some inspirational advice from people who professionally relate to Calpurnia’s character:

1. “Learn to embrace diversity and respect others’ perspectives. It will enrich your own understanding of the world.” – A social worker specializing in cultural diversity.

2. “While standing up for yourself is important, remember to do so with grace and dignity.” – A civil rights activist.

3. “Teach children to be open-minded and accepting of differences from an early age. It will shape their character and make them compassionate individuals.” – A child psychologist.

4. “Lead by example and instill values of kindness, respect, and equality in the younger generation.” – A teacher promoting empathy and inclusivity in the classroom.

5. “Empower children to think critically and question societal norms. Encourage them to follow their conscience and stand up for what they believe is right.” – A youth mentor fostering independent thinking.

6. “Nurture a sense of belonging and community. Teach children the importance of supporting and uplifting one another.” – A community organizer promoting unity.

7. “Emphasize the power of education in breaking down barriers and fostering understanding.” – An educator advocating for equal opportunities for all.

To summarize, Calpurnia’s quotes in “To Kill a Mockingbird” provide valuable lessons on acceptance, resilience, empathy, and the importance of letting one’s conscience guide their actions. Through her role as a mentor and caregiver, Calpurnia teaches Scout and Jem these valuable life lessons. Similarly, other characters in the book, such as Atticus Finch and Miss Maudie, contribute to the overall theme of understanding and compassion. By embracing these messages, we can strive to create a more inclusive and empathetic society.

Common Questions:

1. Was Calpurnia a significant character in “To Kill a Mockingbird”?

Yes, Calpurnia played a vital role in the Finch family’s life, acting as their housekeeper and nanny. Her wisdom and guidance shaped the moral compass of Scout and Jem.

2. What lessons did Calpurnia teach Scout and Jem?

Calpurnia taught Scout and Jem the importance of acceptance, empathy, and respect for others’ differences. She also emphasized the significance of following one’s conscience and standing up for what is right.

3. How did Calpurnia challenge societal norms in the book?

Calpurnia challenged societal norms by refusing to be treated as inferior and standing up for herself when Aunt Alexandra tried to dismiss her. She also encouraged Scout and Jem to question societal prejudices and think for themselves.

4. What role did Calpurnia play in shaping Scout’s character?

Calpurnia served as a mentor and caregiver for Scout, instilling important values and life lessons. Through her guidance, Calpurnia helped shape Scout’s understanding of equality, empathy, and the importance of standing up for what is right.

5. How did Calpurnia’s quotes inspire readers?

Calpurnia’s quotes inspired readers by promoting understanding, acceptance, and resilience. Her words encouraged readers to challenge their own biases and treat others with kindness and respect.

6. What does the quote “It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name” teach us?

This quote teaches us that our self-worth should not be defined by others’ opinions of us. It reminds us that insults reflect more on the person delivering them than on ourselves. It encourages us to rise above negativity and not let it affect our self-esteem.

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