Boo Radley is one of the most important characters in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. While he is never seen or heard from directly, his presence is felt throughout the novel.
Boo Radley is a mockingbird because he represents everything that is good and innocent in the world. He is someone who is misunderstood and feared by many, but he only wants to help others. He provides hope and comfort to those who need it, and he ultimately helps Atticus Finch save Tom Robinson’s life.
Boo Radley is a true hero, and his selflessness makes him one of the most important characters in To Kill a Mockingbird.
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Arthur “Boo” Radley is an enigmatic figure who is kept secluded in his home throughout the story. Despite the fact that he was referred to as a monster that consumed cats and squirrels, he was not actually one. He’s one of the novel’s “mockingbirds,” a nice guy harmed by humanity’s evil. The author inserted numerous little hints throughout the text to demonstrate that Radley is an innocent, misunderstood, and persecuted individual, making him into a “mockingbird.”
First and foremost, the title of the novel is “To Kill a Mockingbird” which represents the innocence. It can be interpreted in many ways, but one of the meanings is that it’s a sin to kill something innocent. In the book, Atticus Finch says “Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” The mockingbird doesn’t do anything but sing beautiful songs, yet they are being killed for no reason.
This could relate to how blacks were treated during that time or even how Boo was treated. People judged him based on rumors and what they heard from others, instead of getting to know him themselves. Just like how the townspeople killed the mockingbirds, they also wanted to do the same to Boo.
Throughout the novel, there were multiple times where people tried to take advantage of Boo or try to hurt him in some way. For example, when Jem and Scout were coming home from the Halloween pageant, someone threw a blanket over their heads and started beating them up. It was only until Boo came out and saved them that they realized it was him who saved them.
Another time was when Bob Ewell spit in Atticus’s face and then later on tried to kill Jem and Scout. Once again, Boo came to their rescue and ended up killing Bob Ewell in the process. He could have easily let Atticus, Jem, and Scout die, but instead he risked his own life to save them. The fact that he was willing to do that shows how much of a kind and compassionate person he really is.
The inhabitants of Maycomb discriminated and mocked Arthur “Boo” Radley. Based on how Boo Radley is characterized as a recluse who hadn’t left his house in 25 years, it’s clear that no one in Maycomb knew much or had any useful information about him, including Jem and Scout. Surprisingly, despite their fears of him, the children were looking forward to meeting Boo one day.
Atticus Finch, their father and a moral role model in the novel, represents Boo Radley in the court even though he knows that it’s a lost case. Furthermore, when Atticus is shot by Mr. Ewell, who also stabbed and killed Mayella Ewell, it is safe to say that without Boo’s help, Atticus would’ve died. Last but not least, as a result of all these events, Scout finally gets to see Boo face-to-face and realises that he is actually a kind man.
Children of their own generation were intrigued by the phantom of Maycomb, just as children today are interested in clowns in a circus. They grew up hearing tales about how Boo planned to murder his father and eat horrible monsters for dinner, so it’s natural that youngsters of their age would be interested in this “phantom of Maycomb.”
In Chapter one, Jem adopted the rumors as a guide and formed his perception of Boo Radley based on them: “Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, therefore his hands were bloodstained—if you ate an animal raw, the blood would never come off your hands.
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.”
It is human nature to be curious about things that we do not understand, which is why the children in To Kill a Mockingbird are so fascinated by Boo Radley. He is a mystery to them, and they want to solve the puzzle of who he is.
While the children are afraid of Boo Radley at first, they eventually come to see him as a harmless creature. This change in perception is due in part to Atticus Finch, their father. Atticus teaches his children to be tolerant and understanding of others, even if they seem strange or different. He instills in them the importance of not judging someone based on rumors or appearances.
It is through Atticus’ guidance that the children learn the true meaning of empathy and compassion. They come to see Boo Radley as someone to be pitied, rather than feared. In the end, it is these qualities that make Boo Radley a true mockingbird.
There was a large jagged scar across his face; he had rotting teeth; his eyes popped and he drooled most of the time; and his mouth would quiver when she spoke to him. “The robber began pummeling her husband with both fists, screaming ‘You come back in there! You get your butt out here now or I’ll kill you!”
Boo was not only imagined as an animal, but also thought of as a monster. “It was Boo that made the daydreams come true”(31). This is showing that the children were really scared of him and thought he had some sort of power.
Also, in chapter 10, Scout says “I wanted to go to him, I wanted to touch him…to talk to him. I do now”(101). She no longer imagines him as a monster, but someone she would like to be friends with. All of these different points show how the children’s imagination changed Boo from being a normal person, to an animal, and then eventually just another one of their friends.
In conclusion, Boo Radley is definitely a mockingbird. He’s an innocent man who has been misunderstood by society. He’s been victimized and taken advantage of, yet he still remains kind and caring. Harper Lee did an excellent job in representing him as a symbol of hope and innocence.