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Arthur "Boo" Radley's "To Kill A Mockingbird": Life and Racism

To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely an excellent novel in that

it portrays life and the role of racism in the 1930's. A reader may

not interpret several aspects in and of the book through just the

plain text. Boo Radley, Atticus, and the title represent three such

Not really disclosed to the reader until the end of the book,

Arthur "Boo" Radley plays an important role in the development of

both Scout and Jem. In the beginning of the story, Jem, Scout, and

Dill fabricate horror stories about Boo. They find Boo as a character

of their amusement, and one who has no feelings whatsoever. They

tried to get a peep at him, just to see what Boo looked like. Scout

connects Boo with the Mockingbird. Mrs. Maudie defines a mockingbird

as one who "...don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They

don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do

one thing but sing their hearts out for us" (94). Boo is exactly

that. Boo is the person who put a blanket around Scout and Jem when

it was cold. Boo was the one putting "gifts" in the tree. Boo even

sewed up Jem's pants that tore on Dill's last night. Boo was the one

who saved their lives. On the contrary to Scout's primary belief, Boo

never harms anyone. Scout also realizes that she wrongfully treated

Boo when she thinks about the gifts in the tree. She never gave

anything back to Boo, except love at the end. When Scout escorts

Arthur home and stands on his front porch, she sees the same street

she saw, just from an entirely different perspective. Scout learns

what a Mockingbird is, and who represents one.

Arthur Radley not only plays an important role in developing

Scout and Jem, but helps in developing the novel. Boo can be divided

into three stages. Primitively, Boo is Scout's worst nightmare.

However, the author hints at Boo...

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Arthur "Boo" Radley's "To Kill A Mockingbird": Life and Racism. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 11:40, May 24, 2016, from