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Scout has an awful experience on her first day of school in Miss Caroline's class. Miss Caroline tells Scout that she can no longer read with her father and forbids Scout from writing at home after she catches Scout penning a letter to Dill during a class activity. After Scout fails to explain why Walter Cunningham Jr. will not accept Miss Caroline's quarter, Miss Caroline "punishes" Scout by giving her a half a dozen pats on the palm. Scout's negative school experience is Lee's way of commenting on the rigid, inefficient educational system. Instead of fostering Scout's unique talent and interest in reading and writing, Miss Caroline impedes Scout's learning. Miss Caroline views Scout with contempt and is annoyed at her behavior. Scout's feelings are mutual, and she feels discriminated against for knowing how to read and write. Scout and Miss Caroline do not have a healthy relationship and Scout even petitions Atticus to allow her to stay home instead of attending school.
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