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For someone who so looks forward to her first day of school, things certainly go awry for Scout in Chapters 2 and 3 of To Kill a Mockingbird. Her teacher, Miss Caroline, is fresh out of college on her first teaching assignment, and she is not at all what Scout expected.
She looked and smelled like a peppermint drop.
Although Jem was in a haze over her youthful good looks, Scout is not impressed. Her new-fangled ideas "mystified" Scout. Miss Caroline hailed from Winston County in North Alabama, an area that, according to Scout, is inhabited by "persons of no background." Miss Caroline then berates Scout because she already knows how to read, and condemns Atticus as a father who
"... does not know how to teach."
At recess, she gets a pep talk from Jem, but things only get worse afterward. When Scout tries to defend Walter Cunningham Jr., she is "whipped" and then sent to stand in the corner. Later, Burris Ewell calls Miss Caroline
"... a snot-nosed slut of a schoolteacher."
Although Scout joined her classmates in trying to comfort their crying teacher, her heart wasn't really in it.
Had her contact been more friendly to me, I would have felt sorry for her. She was a pretty little thing.
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