According to Wikipedia, “To Kill a Mockingbird has been a source of significant controversy since its being the subject of classroom study as early as 1963. the treatment of racismhas lead to disparate perceptions that the novel has a generally positive impact on race relations for white readers, but a more ambiguous reception by black readers.” Despite this, a careful reading of the novel from the point of view of Catholic values and the Holy Name of Mary school motto suggests that the black characters in the novel are, along with Atticus Finch, the true heroes of the novel. The Holy Name of Mary school motto states: “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) The actions of the black characters in the novel beautifully exemplify the virtues described in this motto.
In To Kill A Mockingbird many characters show traits of acting justly, for instance, Calpurnia. To act truthfully means to be fair and equal, despite one’s colour, culture or religion. To this character, the colour of the person does not matter, but what matters are their values and beliefs. Harper Lee shows this virtue, through Calpurnia – a black person who works as a cook in the Finch house. Calpurnia is considered as a surrogated mother to Scout and Jem Finch. As a motherly figure, she demonstrates justly actions in the novel. Harper Lee portrays this trait, when Walter Cunningham (Scout’s classmate) comes home for dinner and Scout makes fun of his table manners. Calpurnia then disciplines her:
“ ‘There are some folks who don’t eat like us,’ she whispered fiercely, ‘but you ain’t called on to contradict ‘em at the table when they don’t. That boy’s yo’ comp’ny and if he wants to eat up the table cloth you let him, you hear?’
‘He ain’t company, Cal, he’s just a Cunningham-’
‘Hush your mouth! Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets food in th…