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As seen in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, in what specific ways does Scout...

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jazlynn15 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 5, 2013 at 1:13 AM via web

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As seen in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, in what specific ways does Scout criticize the school she is attending?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 5, 2013 at 1:41 AM (Answer #1)

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Jean Louise Finch, or Scout (from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird), begins school in chapter two of the novel. Since this is her first time at school, Scout's brother Jem is in charge of showing her around. Scout believes that "money changed hands" for Jem to willingly show her around school. Scout does not begin school on the best note. 

On the first day of school, Scout is put in the corner for the first half of the day (after having her palm "patted" by a ruler). After having Scout read for her, Miss Caroline tells Scout not to allow her father to teach her any longer (since it will "interfere" with her school reading). Scout tells Miss Caroline that Atticus did not teach her, and she was born reading. 

Essentially, Scout has a hard time at school because she is so far ahead of the other children. She even states that many of them are repeating first grade. She feels as though her teacher does not relate to her as a student, and Scout is angry because of the way she (Caroline) speaks about Atticus. Scout is even angry because she cannot play with Jem (like they do at home). She is simply not happy with the school or the way her teacher Miss Caroline teaches (the "new way" according to Jem). 

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