Is there anything humorous in chapter 2 of To Kill A Mockingbird?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many humorous sections in chapter two. 

First, it is funny to hear Scout's blanket statements about people. For instance, when Miss Caroline introduced herself as from Winston county in North Alabama, Scout completely judged her. Moreover, what makes things funnier is that Scout speaks with so much conviction. Here is a quote that shows this:

North Alabama was full of Liquor Interests, Big Mules, steel companies, Republicans, professors, and other persons of no background.

Second, the interaction between Miss Caroline and Scout is also very humorous, because Scout says to her that no one taught her to read, definitely not Atticus. In other words, Scout says that she was born reading. This is very innocent. Here is a quote that shows this:

“Teach me?” I said in surprise. “He hasn’t taught me anything, Miss Caroline. Atticus ain’t got time to teach me anything,” I added, when Miss Caroline smiled and shook her head. “Why, he’s so tired at night he just sits in the livingroom and reads.”

Finally, Scout completely misunderstands what the Dewey Decimal System is. She think is it something that Miss Caroline does by holding up cards with words on them and swinging them around. Scout shows that she completely misunderstands what is going on. 

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several funny episodes in this chapter. First, Scout says that Jem, rather than Atticus, accompanies her to the first day of school. Jem seems overly pleased about doing so, and then Scout says that she hears coins jingling in Jem's pocket on the way to school and believes that money changed hands in this interaction. In other words, Atticus bribed Jem to take Scout to school. Jem's instructions to Scout upon reaching school are also humorous. He tells her not to approach him in school with requests to enact portions of Tarzan and not to mention his private life.

The story that the teacher, Miss Caroline, reads to Scout's class is also funny, as it features talking cats and a character named Mrs. Cat who calls the drugstore to order malted mice. Miss Caroline does not notice that her class, most of whom are farmers' children, are not at all interested in this type of book.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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