In To Kill a Mockingbird, what is a character flaw that both Scout and Miss Caroline have? Thanks!

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the early chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird both Scout and Miss Caroline are "too sure of themselves"; they speak in absolutes which do not allow them to take into consideration other perspectives. For instance, after Miss Caroline determines that Scout is literate, instead of seeking more details about Scout's ability to read and making a suggestion that is reasonable and praising Scout's reading skills, Miss Caroline places Scout as a spectacle before the other students and has her read most of her primary reader; then, she peremptorily informs Scout to tell her father not to teach her any more as "it would interfere with [her] reading." This command threatens the authority of Scout's father and places Scout in an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation made worse by her cruel remark, "Jean-Louise, I've had about enough out of you this morning" when she should realize that Scout is merely trying to help her, although she does not understand her place as a student because of the way she has been given voice at home. 

On Scout's part, too, she allows Miss Caroline no escape from embarrassment, either. When Miss Caroline instructs Scout to tell her father "not to teach me any more because it would interfere with my learning," Scout should have just said, "Yes, ma'am," but she instead contradicts Miss Caroline.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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