How are readers and Miss Caroline similar in their understanding of Maycomb society at this point in the novel? How does Harper Lee use the character of Miss Caroline to introduce readers to what everyone else in Maycomb already “know”?
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Much like the reader, Miss. Caroline is a foreigner in Maycomb. Miss. Caroline takes her philosophy and lessons from an urban centre which does not recognize rural kids who come from places like Maycomb. Her stories about animals talking and doing human activities seem ridiculous to kids who experience the harsh realities of farm life every day. Mrs. Caroline does not understand the socio-economic realities of children like the Cunningham's. She does not know that Walter would take such offence to being loaned lunch money that he could not pay back. Her heart is in the right place but she lacks understanding about her children,
"Miss Caroline seemed unaware that the ragged, denim-shirted and floursack-skirted first grade, most of whom had chopped cotton and fed hogs from the time they were able to walk, were immune to imaginative literature."
At this point in the novel the reader is learning many of the same things the teacher is about Maycomb people and culture.