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In Chapter 2, we learn that Scout has learned to read with Atticus in the evenings when he reads the newspaper; we learn that Scout's new teacher, Miss Caroline, who "looked and smelled like a peppermint drop," hails from the suspect Winston County, a part of Northern Alabama that is full of "persons with no background." She is not impressed that Scout can read, and actually orders her to stop reading with Atticus, because "your father does not know how to teach." We learn that Walter Cunningham's family owes Scout's father money, which they pay in stovewood, hickory nuts, turnip sprouts because they have no cash. Probably most significant in that chapter, we are introduced to one of the Ewells, Burris, who comes to school the first day each year, only to keep the truant officer from bothering him; he is filthy, and with bugs in his hair, for which Miss Caroline sends him home, although he becomes angry and semi-threatening, referring to her as a slut, before he finally leaves. Knowing the Cunningham's situation will become significant later in the story when Walter's father is part of a mob that tries to intimidate Atticus, until Scout reminds him who he is. Burris Ewell is part of the trashy family that lives on the outskirts of town; his drunken father will falsely accuse Tom Robinson of rape later in the story, ultimately costing Robinson his life.
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