What characteristicsof the Cunningham fmily are apparent in chapter 2 of "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Walter's first appearance in Miss Caroline's class in chapter 2 is introduced because he has no lunch.  Many students couldn't afford but maybe one meal each day.  Walter and his family fell into that category.  Along with his having no lunch, Walter was also missing his shoes.  So his family's struggle with money was apparent.  Another description of Walter involved hookworms.  He had them on his face, as Scout describes him.  One thing she did point out though was his clean shirt and neatly mended overalls.  It appears that he's trying to fit in and look nice for school.

However poor the Cunninghams were, they were good, honest people.  That was apparent when Walter refused to take the quarter from Miss Caroline.  Scout tries to explain how the Cunninghams live.

"The Cunninghams never took anything they can't pay back--no church baskets and no scrip stamps.  They never took anything off of anybody, they get along on what they have.  They don't have much, but they get along on it."

This type of lifestyle is hard to live when others try to hand out food and money.  They are a proud family and will survive on their own means.  That says a lot about the parents to have their children follow and not try to sneak money here and there.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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