How does the school contribute to apperences vs. reality, and how does this affect the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird?Eg. Does it contribute to the hypocrisy of the novel? ( Contrast on what...

How does the school contribute to apperences vs. reality, and how does this affect the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Eg. Does it contribute to the hypocrisy of the novel? ( Contrast on what a school is suppose to be like and what is taught in the Maycomb school)

 

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 2 of To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout's experience with Miss Caroline Fisher reveals as much satire as it does the theme of appearance versus reality.  Haper Lee lambasts the education system in Part I of the novel.  (Later, she will lambast the legal system...)

The school appears to be very liberal and cutting edge, with its newfangled Dewey decimal system and reading program, but it is as backward as the courtroom will be in Part II.  First of all, the school allows Burris to cuss out the teacher and be truant all year: it does not demand attendance.  As such, the school is guilty of educational neglect.

More, it disciplines the best student in the class, Scout, for knowing how to read already.  The school thinks that because she has learned to read a different way (with her father) that she has learned to read the wrong way.  It effect, the school champions the institution over the family.  This is a classic liberal hypocrisy of public education.  Miss Fisher should use some common sense instead of theory.

Because of this, Scout wants to stay home from school.  This is not a bad idea by the way.  Atticus would be a wonderful home-school teacher.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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