For this essay I will be discussing the events that take place and lessons learnt by certain characters throughout these two chapters. We have just reached the part of the story where summer has just come to an end in the town Maycomb and school is about to start. At the beginning of chapter two, Dill has just left Maycomb to return home, whilst Scout, the narrator of the story is excited and eager to begin her first day of school. However once she arrives, Miss Caroline Fisher, a young and new teacher from North Alabama decides to haul Scout up to the front.
Miss Caroline pats the palm of Scouts hand with a ruler and makes her stand in the corner until noon, as a sign of punishment. This is where Scout learns that school is different from what she may have expected it to be. Another important event that takes place during the school day is when Miss Caroline asks Scout to read the alphabet she has printed out onto the board. To her surprise, Scout, being a literate child is able to read. Later on she is also caught writing a letter to Dill and is told to tell her father to stop teaching her, as Miss Caroline assumes that Atticus, Scouts father, has educated her.
Miss Caroline tells Scout off for being educated as it will interfere with the new teaching methods making her feel guilty and angry. It is as if when Scout means all well, she is instead punished for it. This all causes Scout to tell her brother Jem during recess that if she didn’t have to stay she’d leave (page 24) The reader learns about The Cunningham’s in the next event that takes place. Children who did not go home for lunch were expected to bring food to school.
As Miss Caroline walked around the desks looking at the children’s food she sees that Walter Cunningham has no lunch she asks him where it is. She soon offers him a quarter to go and buy lunch but he would not take it. Scout is then provoked to tell Miss Caroline that he was a Cunningham. Miss Caroline is puzzled by this remark so Scout explains it to her. This is where the reader learns that The Cunningham’s did not have much and would not take anything they were unable to pay back as they had little or no money.
Due to the frustration that has over come Miss Caroline as she is unable to understand the situation that Scout is telling her about, forces her to grab Scout by the collar and slap her with a ruler on her hand. Chapter two ends with the class filling out for lunch. As Scout was the last to leave she was able to see Miss Caroline “bury her head into her arms. ” This could have been because she has discovered her teaching methods don’t work and that children at Maycomb are possibly different.
As Scout saw Walter as the victim of her getting into trouble she rubbed his noise in the dirt and Jem soon intercedes telling Scout to stop. It is not long until Jem invites Walter over to dinner. As the children arrive home, Jem runs into the kitchen telling Calpurnia, the house servant who had taught Scout to write, to set an extra plate for Walter. Atticus and Walter discuss farming like two men as described on page 30. As Walter receives his food he asks if there are any molasses in the house.