Walter Cunningham comes home with Jem and Scout for supper in Chapter 3 of To Kill a Mockingbird. Describe what it was like.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After Scout got in trouble with Miss Caroline for trying to explain Walter's family's financial situation, she decided to take out her frustration on Walter. Jem caught Scout pounding him in the school yard dirt, made her stop, and then invited Walter to lunch.

     By the time we reached our front steps, Walter had forgotten he was a Cunningham.

Atticus joined them, and he treated Walter as if he was an old friend, discussing farming and crops.

     While Walter piled food on his plate, he and Atticus talked together like two men, to the wonderment of Jem and me.

When Walter requested some molasses, Atticus directed Calpurnia to bring the syrup pitcher. Obviously a boy with a sweet tooth (who must have rarely had the opportunity to partake of sweets at home), Walter poured the molasses over all of his vegetables and meat. Scout couldn't contain herself, and she

... asked what the sam hill he was doing.

An embarrassed Walter "ducked his head," and Atticus silently warned Scout to say no more. But after protesting that "He's poured it all over--," Calpurnia quickly led Scout into the kitchen, where she gave Scout a good scolding, making it clear to her that

"... anybody sets foot in this house's yo' comp'ny, and don't let me catch you remarkin' on their ways like you was so high and mighty."

It was yet another learning experience for Scout, and Atticus later gave her his speech about understanding a person better when

"... you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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