Caitlin Pavelec


Nothing Fits

This page is your workspace for the To Kill a Mockingbird project. Use it to describe your final project, record your responses to the Essential Questions, and display your work.

Part I: Define the Project

What form will your project take?
I have chosen to do a painting for my final project, this painting will explore the feelings that one of the main characters in the book.
e.g. poem, painting, folk song, computer animation, etc.

What tool/medium will you use?
My medium will be acrylic on canvas.
e.g. Microsoft Word, acrylic on canvas, guitar and vocals, Animoto

Who is the character you have chosen?
I have chosen to use Calpurnia as my character, because she is very interesting and is in an interesting situation throughout the book.

What is the circumstance/scene you are examining?
I am examining the two scenes in the book that represent the social injustice that occurs to Calpurnia during the book. One is the fact that Aunt Alexandra says that Calpurnia is not "good enough" to serve the family as a servant. When this happen I just though about the fact that Aunt Alexandra was prejudice, but as this story continued I really started to feel that she was getting the social injustice from being black and being a housekeeper/maid for these people. The other scene that I am looking at are the two times that Calpurnia talking to Scout about her level of education. These come in the form of talking in proper English when she is with the Finches and when Calpurnia is talking about not having hymn books at church because the most of the people in the church are illiterate. When I looked at these scene I really started to think about how Calpurnia is getting social injustice from the black citizens as well because she is more educated than most of them. I see this as the fact that the citizens look at her as if she is above them because of her ability speak in a way which makes her more equal to whites and the fact that she and her son are fully literate.

What is the situation that is especially effective at revealing inner conflict and motivation that you have chosen to illustrate?
I am using these scenes to represent the two different sides of my painting. The one side that has a white silhouette holding a book on a black background represents the social injustice that Calpurnia feels when she is in the black community because when she is with these people, the black citizen, they act like she is better than them. The other side will have a black silhouette holding a spoon on a white background to represent the social injustice that she feels when she is within the white community because she is black and there was a large amount of racial prejudice at this time in history.
What is the defining key trait or theme that you are going to illustrate?
I am going to represent social injustice within my painting to represent the two different sides to Calpurnia,and how she feel within her community.

How are you going beyond merely reporting information given in the novel?
I am trying to get at the fact that not only does Calpurnia have social injustice from the white citizens of Maycomb, but also from the black citizens because of her education level. Although this is not shown in the book there are times where you can tell that Calpurnia gets guff from the black citizens because she is educated and has a job with a white family. I can tell that she is not quite the normal African-American citizen and this is not shown in the book, but I have picked up on this sense.

Part II: Essential Questions

You will present your project to the class. In the presentation, you MUST answer the following Essential Questions:

Why did you focus on the particular character? What was your personal connection?
I chose to focus on Calpurnia as I think that she was not as developed of a character within this book and I like the idea of seeing inside of her as a women. I think that she represents the strong female character as I think of myself as a strong female and can relate to this feeling of wanting to take control from those who are weak and not letting them let others down. As well, during the time there was a stereotypical view of African-Americans and the idea that they could not be smart and equal to whites. I think that Calpurnia defies this stereotype and I really admire her for that. As a blonde I think that some people of us as always being and airhead and somewhat ditzy. I think that I defy this stereotype as well and in that way can relate to Calpurnia as a person in the 21st century.

How does your project inform us about any of these key themes: prejudice, ignorance, fear, meanness, tradition/history (a reluctance to change from the way things are), dignity, pride, selflessness, justice, empathy, hope, love, or courage?
My piece shows both some idea of prejudice and some of courage. The idea of prejudice is comming from the opposite way as I am seeing Aunt Alexandra's prejudice from the eyes of the person reciving it. As well, in some ways Calpurnia represents courage because she defies all odds and uses her education to help her not hurt her. As well, she is courageous to take her smarts and use them to get a job even if people think this job should have been given to a white person. She supports herself and in some respects in not afriad to let the world know this.

How did your understanding change or grow as you worked on the project?
Checkpoint 1: I have decided to step in Calpurnia's skin and examine the social injustice that she faces in both the black and white society. This will be portrayed through a painting that shows a canvas divided in half. One side will have a black figure holding a spoon this represents the social injustice that she feels in the white community and the fact that the white people treat her as if she is below them.The other half will have a white figure holding a book on a black background. This represents the fact that Calpurnia is educated and everyone in the black community feels as if they are below her because she has education.

Checkpoint 2: The more I think about the facts that the text show, the more I see that Calpurnia has social injustice coming from every direction. No only does she have social injustice from both African-Americans and white people in her community, but also from men because she is a women, and also from the fact that she is maid and has what would be considered a medial job. As well I think that my painting will really truly represent her in more fullness the more I look at her as a women and the book itself. I realize that she is truly a strong remarkable woman and that she could have been more fully developed in the book and i wish that Harper Lee would have developed her more as a character.

Checkpoint 3: Today I sketched my silhouettes of Calpurnia. As I did this I realized that the way that Calpurnia is portrayed in the books is like the stereotypical black person, one who serves others and does not show her ideas and open her mouth to her master. I thought that it was interesting that Calpurnia decided to show her true feelings to Scout and not Atticus because of the amount of trust that there seem to be between these two characters. Finally, I thought about the position that Calpurnia is truly in and how strong she is throughout the books with all of the hardships that happen not only in the book, but also in her life.

Checkpoint 4: Today I painted the piece that I have been sketching all week. As I did this I thought about the fact that Harper Lee put the bit about Dolphus Raymond and his children into the book. I think that this was put into the book as a mode of telling the readers about the fact that being different than most of the people in the crowd that you are suppose to fit in makes it impossible to do so. The children do not fit in with the white children because they are half African-American and they do not fit in with the African-American children because they are half white. i think that this could be an inside analogy to Calpurnia because she in a way is half white because she is educated and as well because of her skin color she is African-American. This is just one more way in which I think Harper Lee is clever in adding detail that may or may not be detected by the reader to add depth to her characters.

Questions to consider as you move toward deeper understanding:

Does the historical setting affect your understanding?
Yes, this book is set in 1932, a time which represented segregation and prejudice towards African-Americans in America. this effect the side of Calpurnia which feel social injustice from the white citizens of Maycomb. Prejudice was a natural part of life during this time period,1932, and was very common in the south where this book,To Kill a Mockingbird, is set.

Which character traits stay the same and which change?
During the book Calpurnia is a mother figure to the children and is kind, but stern and firm because she wants the children, Jem and Scout, to grow up and be respectable people. This stays the same through out the book as from Scout's first day of school to the day that Jem is hurt, Calpurnia is motherly and kind to the children. As well, Calpurnia has more morals and ethics than almost any other woman in this book. Calpurnia "does the right thing, because it is the right thing to do" and does it with pride. This does not change and I suspect that if the book were to continue would never change as this is how she has grown-up and wants to set an example for everyone else in the community. The one trait that does change in Calpurnia within this book is her self-awareness of the roles that she pays in each community and realization that she does act differently in the white community than she does when is with her friend and family. She realizes that when she is with the Finches, she wants to be treated like an equal, and speaks with the proper English that she knows from her education on Finches Landing. when she is with her friends and family she speaks exactly as they do because she does not want to be seen as a person who thinks that she is superior to other as well, she wants to fit in with "her" crowd of people.

What is the evidence from the text that supports your idea?
When Scout speaks to Aunt Alexandra about going over to Calpurnia's house for a visit Aunt Alexandra pulls Atticus over and say," you've got to do something about her..". This quote is referring to Calpurnia and the fact that Aunt Alexandra thinks that Calpurnia is not good enough and is not raising the children correctly purely because of the color of her skin. This example shows the social injustice towards African-Americans from the white citizens of the South during this time period and represents the social injustice from whites towards African-Americans. The other example that hints at the fact that there is some unrest about Calpurnia being educated comes from two quotes. This is from the book page 141," Calpurnia laughed. Wouldn't do any good, she said. They can't read." This happens when Jem asks Calpurnia about the fact that her church does not have hymn books. This shows that there is social injustice from the African-Americans through the fact that she is pointing out that she has education, and that she is one of the four people in the church who can read. She is pointing this out and making a point of this one because the children do not understand, but also because she cannot make a point of this at home because it makes her seem better than her friends. The second quote is " suppose you and Scout talked colored-folks' talk at home-it'd be out of place wouldn't it? Now what if I talked white-folks' talk at church, and with my neighbors? They'd think I was puttin' on airs to beat Moses." This quote is better example of the fact that Calpurnia has unrest at home in her community because she is educated and she has to fit in not do what is right. She must speak like the others in her community so that they don't think that she is more above them than she already seems because she can read.

Part III: Final Product

Your final product must appear on this page in the space below and will be evaluated using this rubric:
  • If your product is digital and has an embed code, use the Widget toolbar and insert it in the space below. For help with the embed Widget, watch this video or use the Help menu above.
  • If your project is digital and you cannot embed your project, upload it to Wikispaces and insert it as a file.
  • If your project is traditional, take a photograph, upload it to Wikispaces, and insert it as a file.

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