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In To Kill a Mockingbird how does Lee create sympathy for Miss Caroline at the end of...

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funnygeorge5 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 16, 2013 at 11:09 PM via iOS

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In To Kill a Mockingbird how does Lee create sympathy for Miss Caroline at the end of Chapter 2? 

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 17, 2013 at 5:28 PM (Answer #1)

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In Chapter 2, Scout attends her first day of school in Miss Caroline's class. Miss Caroline is young and idealistic and doesn't yet know the customs of Maycomb society and the unwritten traditions of the families and class systems. When Miss Caroline offers Walter Cunningham Jr. a quarter for lunch, Scout eventually takes it upon herself to inform Miss Caroline that she is "shaming" Walter Jr. because the "Cunninghams never took anything they can’t pay back." Miss Caroline didn't appreciate this Cunningham family lesson from Scout so she "whipped" her with the ruler which made the class laugh. When Miss Caroline threatened the class with similar punishments, they only laughed again. At the end of the chapter, Scout sees Miss Caroline with her head buried in her arms, presumably crying. Miss Caroline had come into the school, a young idealistic teacher and had run into trouble on her first day. Consequently, she was quite frustrated. Scout adds that she would have felt sorry for her if she had been more friendly. However, Scout will later admit that she could have been more understanding that Miss Caroline was new in town and didn't know all the customs yet. 

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