Why Is Boo Radley Misunderstood In To Kill A Mockingbird (2023)

1109 Words5 Pages

American physicist and author Lester Levenson once said, “Until we become fully free, we put up a false front, a facade, to others for the purpose of winning the acceptance and approval of others” (“Lester Levenson Quote”). Leverson’s profound words resonate within both people and fictional characters, such as those in the acclaimed novel To Kill a Mockingbird. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, told through the eyes of a young child, Scout Finch, is the story of a family living in the Great Depression stricken American South during the 1930s. While those around her reflect the racist and prejudiced views of their society, Scout and her brother Jem are raised by their father Atticus to not conform to these beliefs. Although a minority, the…show more content…
After getting in trouble for typical rebellious adolescent behavior, Boo Radley has rarely been seen outside of his house. The mystery surrounding him makes others in the town intrigued about the “malevolent phantom” that “went out at night when the moon was down, and peeped in windows” (Lee 10-11). Due to a combination of children’s imaginations and the variety of rumors spread throughout the town, people assumed Boo Radley was “about six-and-a-half feet tall” with “a long jagged scar that ran across his face” and “what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time” (Lee 16). The people of Maycomb were not accustomed to people who differed from them in any way and any minor difference could make them an outcast. When “The shutters and doors of the Radley house were closed on Sundays, another thing alien to Maycomb’s ways”, it was recognized as unusual and it further enhanced the beliefs that Boo Radley was a ‘monster’. It was rumored that Boo Radley was getting his ‘revenge’, so “ every scratch of feet on gravel was Boo Radley” and “every passing Negro laughing in the night was Boo Radley loose and after us” (Lee 74). Society, unfamiliar to recluses, could not justify his actions to be isolated. The narrow-mindedness of society propels people to believe any excuse that explains the differences in people. Lee uses Boo Radley to show the contrast that exists between the fabricated images of people and their true selves. The rumors of Boo Radley created an image of an insane, non-human creature to disguise the goodness of his true self that was misunderstood through his ways of living. Anytime Scout faced danger, Boo Radley protected her and the others from any harm. When Miss Maudie’s house caught on fire and the children were outside in the middle of the night, when “‘[Scout was] so busy looking at the fire [she] didn’t even know it when he


  • Boo Radley's Development In To Kill A Mockingbird

    747 Words |3 Pages

    The first development in Scout I have concluded is her perception of Boo Radley, at the start of the book, Scout would hear neighborhood myths about Boo Radley eating squirrels, his physical features, and him being a legendary monster. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time (Lee 16). As the story progressed so did Scout maturity. Scout no longer have fears about Boo Radley, but only curiosity, she starts to develop an understanding that the trinkets found in the knot-hole of the Radley’s tree was a gesture of friendship, and soon starts to realize that Boo is not a monster after he puts a blanket over Scout during when Mrs. Maudie house is burning down. Near the end of the novel, it turns out that Boo Radley saved Scout and Jem from Bob Ewell, and for the first time she sees Boo Radley in the

    Read More

  • Scout And Boo Radley Character Analysis

    892 Words |4 Pages

    In ‘To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, Scout develops a strange relationship with a mysterious character, Boo Radley. Scout, Jem, and Dill are interested in Boo Radley because of the mystery that dominates around him and the Radley house. The town people poorly judge Boo Radley and hearing stories from Miss Stephanie Crawford frightens Scout and Jem. Although the relationship starts out as fear and mystery, as time passes, Scout begins to realize that Boo isn’t the monster they described him as, he is rather a nice and caring person.

    Read More

  • Boo's Relationship In To Kill A Mockingbird

    980 Words |4 Pages

    Throughout the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” written by Harper Lee, the readers can see how Scout changes her view about Boo Radley. Because of their nosiness, Jem, Scout, and Dill try to drag Boo out his house and to the outside world. Their innocent actions combined with Boo’s actions changed the image of Boo, in their minds, from “a malevolent phantom” (10), a person who kills cats and eats squirrels to a neighbor they can trust, who saves them from Bob Ewell. Scout says at the end, “Boo was our neighbor” (373). The readers can see a great change in their relationship. At the beginning, the children cannot even go near Boo’s place without palpitation, but at the end, Scout is comfortable enough to walk Boo up to his front porch. Throughout the novel, Scout has changed her view of Boo after a chain of Boo’s actions toward her. As Scout grows older, she becomes wiser to understand her father’s lesson, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it ” (39). Her father says this at the beginning, but till the end, thanks to the maturity combined with Boo’s actions that help Scout to understand it. She has matured enough to realize that people should not judge other people by rumor, but give them some chances to prove themselves.

    Read More

  • Boo Radley Misunderstood

    658 Words |3 Pages

    Think you know Boo Radley? Boo Radley is a shy, mysterious character from Harper Lee’s: To Kill a Mockingbird. Throughout the book, Boo is thought of as a monster within the book’s setting of Maycomb county. He’s also know to be mentally ill and violent due to many stories about his past. However, I believe he’s just very misunderstood. I believe that Boo Radley is really a caring and courageous human being. Furthermore, I believe that throughout To Kill a Mockingbird; Boo Radley is shown to be misunderstood, caring, and courageous.

    Read More

  • Boo Radley's Interest In To Kill A Mockingbird

    440 Words |2 Pages

    Dill Harris, the boy who Scout and Jem befriended, was interested in the Radley’s from the first time he knew about them. The Radley’s lived in an unkempt, dark, scary house on the same street as Scout and Jem. Because of all the gossip Dill heard from Stephanie Crawford, Scout, and Jem about Boo Radley, he was curious to see what he was like. Was the thirty-something-year-old Radley son really a gang member? Did he really have bloodstained hands? Did he really stab his father? All those questions were probably running through his head when he decided he wanted to make Boo Radley come out. Dill wanted Boo to come out so he could satisfy his curiosity about the infamous Radley.

    Read More

  • Theme Of Rumors In To Kill A Mockingbird

    1285 Words |6 Pages

    The rumors about Boo Radley are what helps move the plot forward the most. The climax of the story is when Boo finally comes out of his house and Scout learns that the rumors she heard about him were not true. The reader first learns of Boo when Scout explains the rumors to Dill. She states, “The Radleys, welcome anywhere in town, kept to themselves, a predilection unforgivable in Maycomb… Jem said he ‘bought cotton,’ a polite term for doing nothing- but Mr. Radley and his wife had lived there with their two sons as long as anybody could remember”(Lee 10). The Radleys had a reputation in the town, especially Boo and this causes them to be

    Read More

  • Boo Radley Analysis To Kill A Mockingbird

    1030 Words |5 Pages

    In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird Dill, Jem, and Scout have various encounters with their mysterious neighbor Boo Radley. They thought that he was a dangerous person that would kill them if they came to close to him. Throughout the book they slowly start to see who Boo Radley really is. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the character of Boo Radley based on the individual relationships and observations from Dill, Jem, and Scout.

    Read More

  • How Is Boo Radley Portrayed In To Kill A Mockingbird

    822 Words |4 Pages

    Boo Radley is a misunderstood, and kind-hearted man who is represented as a mockingbird in the novel. Boo, due to the county's curiosity and fast pace spreading of rumours, is often perceived as monster “Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom” (Lee 8).

    Read More

  • To Kill A Mockingbird How Does Boo Radley Change

    672 Words |3 Pages

    In Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout’s perspective of Boo Radley changes as others influence her. Initially, Scout thinks as Boo as a malevolent phantom, and is scared of him because of the stories she hears. Midway through the novel, Boo starts to reveal himself to Scout, and she starts on her journey to realizing who he really is. Finally, after Boo saves Scout and Jem from Bob Ewell, Scout walks Boo back home. Now on the porch of the Radley place, Scout looks at her street from Boo’s perspective, and she realizes that Boo is just like anyone else, but he just rather live a reclusive life. Ultimately, Scout learns that she can not judge anyone until she is able to see life from their perspective.

    Read More

  • To Kill A Mockingbird How Does Arthur Radley Change

    613 Words |3 Pages

    In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, main characters Scout and Jem Finch show a major change in their perspective towards Arthur Radley. Arthur Radley, also known as ‘Boo’, is a young man who is never seen out of his house. His mysterious behavior sparks the kids curiosity towards him. At the beginning of the novel, the children are terrified of Boo. Their minds are filled with stories and rumors that have been passed around the little town. For example, some say he eats raw cats and squirrels, or his eyes pop out and he drools most of the time. People are so afraid to near the Radley house that “a baseball hit into the Radley yard was a lost ball and no questions asked” (23). Boo Radley was also blamed for town crimes he didn’t commit, like if “people’s azaleas froze in a cold snap, it was because he had breathed on them” (22).

    Read More

  • Examples Of Misconceptions In To Kill A Mockingbird

    753 Words |4 Pages

    Various incidents evidently show how it is part of human nature to create misconceptions and categorize people based on their appearance, beliefs, others’ opinions, and other attributes. In To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, the protagonist, Jean Louise Finch, also known as Scout, grows up in a society in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930s. Since the town is full of gossip and rumors are frequently generated, Scout starts believing in a legend regarding a monstrous creature named Arthur “Boo” Radley. When she starts gaining negative knowledge about him, there are some actions that foreshadow the ultimate character of “Boo” Radley, especially when saving their lives. These actions reveal that Boo is just another person who is warm-hearted and

    Read More

  • Boo Radley Changes In To Kill A Mockingbird

    735 Words |3 Pages

    A friend of Scout’s named Dill Harris, appears in chapter one and curiosity of a neighbor, Arthur “Boo” Radley is sparked in the children. Boo is a character that trys to kill his father when he was younger with a pair of scissors. Since that day Boo was either in the basement of the jail or inside his home hidden away from everyone. Jem, Scout’s brother, and Scout start finding items inside a hole in a tree next to the Radley’s house. Later Mr. Nathan Radley, Boo’s brother and caretaker, covers the hole with cement saying, “Tree’s dying. You plug ‘em with cement when they’re sick,” (83). This act symbolizes severing of their communication with Boo. Scout’s curiosity is deferred until but later resurfaces when she says, “You aren’t starting that again, are you?’ said Atticus one night when I expresses a stray desire just to have one good look at Boo Radley,” (325). Shortly thereafter, Scout and Jem are walking home from a county pageant and they are a nasty man named Bob Ewell who was after their father attacks the children but a mysterious man saves them. Scout later understands that Jem and herself were saved by the mysterious Boo Radley. This incident quelles her curiosity of Boo Radley and changes her perspective of him from being a scary guy to a nice, heroic

    Read More

  • How Is Misunderstood Boo's Childhood In To Kill A Mockingbird

    696 Words |3 Pages

    In To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee Harper addresses the issues of racism and misconception by bringing the story of a little girl’s childhood to life. Jean Louise (Scout) Finch, a 6 year old girl, tells the story of her childhood and what it was like to live in the south in the 1930s. In the story, we see the prevalence of racism at this time, and not only does Lee address the topic of racism, she also speaks about how misconceived some people can be. Arthur (Boo) Radley, the town recluse, was perceived as a monster, but in reality he was a very nice guy. Boo’s personality traits, such as kindness, being an introvert, and being misunderstood, show us how his character is becoming more revealed throughout the story.

    Read More

  • How Is Boo Radley Presented In To Kill A Mockingbird

    975 Words |4 Pages

    In Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize winning “To Kill A Mockingbird” ,Maycomb always portrayed Boo Radley as the devil of their town; he is described by the townsfolk as a violent and dangerous man. He has always been misjudged by society and he is a major victim of society’s prejudice. Jem and Scout never saw this in Mr. Radley. Sure, they were scared of him at first but their opinion changed after each encounter. They discovered that Mr. Radley is a very sweet, nice, and innocent man even though he has done substandard things in the past. One event changed the way people saw him. It is arguable that Boo Radley is even more of a mockingbird than Atticus Finch due to Boo’s acts of kindness towards the kids. He brings plentiful joy to their lives

    Read More

  • Theme Of Human Rights In To Kill A Mockingbird

    1439 Words |6 Pages

    This family isn’t treated fairly because of the gossip which has been spread about them. Boo (formally Arthur) Radley is thought to be a terrible man who sneaks around at night, looking in neighbor’s windows, spying on everyone. Every crime committed in Maycomb is said to be Boo’s work. “People said he went out at night when the moon was down, and peeped in windows…” (Lee, 9). Article one of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, which states “They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood,” was violated. The people of Maycomb didn’t treat the Radleys with any respect and held them in disregard. At the conclusion, when Scout finally meets Boo, she understands that all the rumors about him aren’t

    Read More

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kareem Mueller DO

Last Updated: 12/08/2022

Views: 5357

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kareem Mueller DO

Birthday: 1997-01-04

Address: Apt. 156 12935 Runolfsdottir Mission, Greenfort, MN 74384-6749

Phone: +16704982844747

Job: Corporate Administration Planner

Hobby: Mountain biking, Jewelry making, Stone skipping, Lacemaking, Knife making, Scrapbooking, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Kareem Mueller DO, I am a vivacious, super, thoughtful, excited, handsome, beautiful, combative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.