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How is Miss Caroline Fisher seen through the eyes of her class?To Kill a Mockingbird by...

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hunzeer | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 8, 2011 at 6:59 AM via web

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How is Miss Caroline Fisher seen through the eyes of her class?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 8, 2011 at 7:38 AM (Answer #1)

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Since Maycomb is an old town with few newcomers, the children in Scout's class murmurs "apprehensively" when Miss Fisher states her name and tells the class that she is from Winston County in North Alabama.  For, since Maycomb is in the southern part of the state, and Winston County has the history of seceding from Alabama in the War Between the States. Scout describes North Alabama as foreign to what she knows,

North Alabama was full of Liquor Interests, Big Mules, steel companies, Republicans, professor, and other persons of no background.

Scout also notes that Miss Caroline's approach to teaching is not relevant to the children of Maycomb.  For, many of them "have chopped cotton and fed hogs from the time they were able to walk," so the narrative stories do not interest them, but she seems unaware.  Later, she questions Scout on her handwriting as well as her ability to read. As Scout finds herself at ends with Miss Fisher, especially when she tries to explain to her teacher about Walter Cunningham, she finds Miss Fisher resentful of what she perceives as disrespect.  When she asks for Scout's hand in order to strike it with the ruler, and Scout misinterprets this as an overture to shake her hand, the class breaks into laughter as the teacher strikes Scout's hand.  As the lunch period begins, Miss Caroline puts her head on the desk in embarrassment and dismay, for the children do not understand or respect her.

After lunch, Miss Fisher screams, the boys think she has seen a mouse, but it is lice crawling in the hair of Burris Ewell.  Little Chuck Little politely brings Miss Fisher water in a paper cup after Burris kills the "cootie" from his head.  Then, when Burris becomes contentious, Little Chuck again tries to come to her aid. and soon after Burris hurls an insult at her as he leaves, the other children gather around her desk in sympathy for her tears.  Miss Fisher blows her nose and the young children ask her to read them a story.  She has now endeared herself to them as a lady who needs rescuing.

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