To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 2 Summary

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Dill leaves Maycomb to return to his house in Meridian. Scout, meanwhile, gets ready to go to school for the first time, something she has been waiting for, for a long time. Once she is finally at school, however, she finds that her teacher Miss Caroline, doesn’t know how to deal with children. When Miss Caroline concludes that Atticus must have taught Scout how to read, she gets angry and makes Scout feel guilty for being educated. At recess, Scout complains to Jem, but Jem says that Miss Caroline is just trying out a new method of teaching called the Dewey-Decimal System. Miss Caroline and Scout don’t get along in the afternoon as well. Walter Cunningham, a boy in Scout’s class, has not brought lunch. Miss Caroline offers him a quarter to buy lunch, telling him that he can pay her back tomorrow, but the problem is that he can’t pay her back. Walter’s family is large and poor, so poor that they pay Atticus with hickory nuts, turnip greens, or other goods when they need legal help. Walter will never be able to pay the teacher back or bring a lunch to school. When Scout attempts to explain these circumstances, however, Miss Caroline fails to understand and grows so frustrated that she calls Scout up and tells her to stick out her hand. Scout thinks that Miss Caroline is going to spit in her hand, but instead, she slapped Scout’s hand with a ruler.
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