Maycomb, Alabama has a usual disease: racism. In To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, young Scout Finch is exposed to the disease when her father Atticus defends Tom Robinson, an African American man accused of rape. During the trial, Scout is influenced by numerous adult figures who help guide her as she grows and develops. Scout’s housekeeper Calpurnia is among of one of these adult figures. Calpurnia influences Scout through strong discipline and by exposing her to African American culture.
Calpurnia influences Scout through strong discipline. Calpurnia only rewards Scout if she does a suitable job. When Calpurnia taught Scout to read and write, there was no “sentimentality”. Calpurnia “seldom rewarded” Scout if Scout “seldom pleased” her (78). Calpurnia does not praise Scout when she does not earn praise, teaching Scout…show more content… When Scout and Jem accompany Calpurnia to the black church, Scout notices the exterior of the church. The exterior of the church is “paint-peeled” and “covered with chunks of ice”, with a cemetery right beside it (157). Scout can already recognize that the black community is being mistreated before even entering the church. After coming into the church, Scout receives greeting from Reverend Sykes. Scout and Reverend Sykes talk about why Reverend Sykes is "takin' up collection" for Helen Robinson (Tom Robinson's wife) (163). Reverend Sykes's kindness and willingness to answer Scout's questions gives her a positive look of the black community in Maycomb. Scout also realizes that Calpurnia lives a "modest double life". Calpurnia talks "nigger talk" at the church and "white-folk talk" at the Finches (167). Scout gains respect for Calpurnia as she now understands that Calpurnia has a whole other life outside of Scout's house, with a whole different language as well. Calpurnia exposing Scout to the African American community helps Scout sympathies with Tom