Analysis of Arthur Boo Radley From the Novel To Kill a Mockingbird

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In To Kill A Mockingbird, Arthur “Boo” Radley is a mysterious, caring, yet playful character as well. Boo is a neighbor to the Finch family and the source of Scout, Jem, and Dills fun. Not much is actually known about Boo, and he really only physically appears in chapter 29. First of all, rumors constantly spread of Boo, that he only goes out at night and eats the neighbor’s pets. Of course, this makes him a frightening and mysterious character because no one really knows if this is true. Yet, everyone fears Boo, and he never leaves his house during the day, which does not help. When being described “Boo was about six and a half feet tall” says Jem about his stature, which only ignited the children’s imagination on this quiet man. “He dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch” (Lee chapter 1), which based on assumptions is implying that he is a menace.

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Second of all, Boo Radley is a one in a million, he truly is unique. And he is also a caring person. Boo Radley is always making sure Scout and Jem are safe and goes on to protect them from Bob Ewell, saving their lives. In chapter six, Boo takes Jem’s pants, and not only fixes them, but leaves them ready to be picked up for Jem. He really cares, about the Finch kids and what they do. Boo leaves them gifts in a tree, which hit Jem the hardest when the hole in the tree was filled; his connection to the outside world was cut. To state the type of person he is, “To my way of thinking; Mr. Finch, taking the one man who’s done you and this town a great service an’ draggin’ him with his shy ways into the limelight – to me, that’s a sin”. Boo did not care about the spotlight, only the people.

And lastly, what may appear scary is really just Boo playing. A good example of this is in chapter 4 when Scout accidentally rolls into the Radley yard while playing a game and overhears a laughter. The noise, came from none other than Boo Radley who was having a good time and laughing at watching the children play their game. “Through all the head shaking, quelling of nausea and Jem yelling, I had heard another sound, so low I could not have heard it from the sidewalk. Someone inside the house was laughing” (Lee page forty-one). Take a look into Boo Radley’s character, and see that he is almost playing along with the children, enjoying their company. He is a rather childish character which lead to him being playful, even if he decides to stay locked up inside of his house all day.

In conclusion, it is learnt that Arthur Radley most likely has autism. This can be a very good explanation for his personality. Being a mysterious, caring, and playful person, as well as other traits. Like staying inside all day, appearing scary, acting like a child, lashing out and having trouble communicating with others. It is just who Boo is, no denying it. But more than anything, he can be viewed as complicated, leaving him to be misunderstood by the people of Maycomb.

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