What Are Some Quotes Attributed to Calpurnia in “To Kill a Mockingbird”?

One of the most notable quotes in “To Kill a Mockingbird” attributed to Calpurnia is “You’re not gonna change any of them by talkin’ right. They’ve got to want to learn themselves, and when they don’t want to learn there’s nothing you can do but keep your mouth shut or talk their language.” It’s through statements like this that Calpurnia teaches the children about ethics and morals and about the realities of a racial society. As the Finch family’s housekeeper, she imparts many words of wisdom on the Finch children throughout the novel.

Many quotes from the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” are attributed to the character of Calpurnia. After the death of the Finch children’s mother, Calpurnia steps into the role of a mother figure to both of them. While both children love and respect Calpurnia, as does their father, it is Scout who forms a special bond with the housekeeper. As one of the few black characters in “To Kill a Mockingbird” that can read and write, Calpurnia provides Scout with guidance and even teaches her how to write.