The Progression of Scout, and Jem Finch’s Relationship with Boo Radley
“It is not about what it is. It’s about what it can become.” – Dr.Seuss
Arthur Radley better known as Boo was looked down upon, he was never treated equally compared to others in Maycomb. In Maycomb there are many who are treated as if they are inferior to the people who think they are superior, those people are the coloured folk, poor white folk, and most importantly the ones that are different. There are children in this society who see it different, as they were raised to see the world how it should be seen; everyone is equal. Those children are Jem, and Scout Finch who endure a long journey of figuring out who Boo Radley is and why he is hiding away from society. Curiosity makes everyone stronger and more intelligent as it brings fear, questions, and realizations.
Jem was ten, and Scout was six when the first thought of Boo Radley came into conversation. They lived in a neighbourhood where everyone knew everyone, but no one ever spoke of Boo because he always seemed scary. Scout is the narrator of this journey she had with trying to get Boo Radley to come out of his house. She said, “The Radley place was inhabited by an unknown entity the mere description of whom was enough to make us behave for days on end;” (7). Scout and Jem never thought to ever go up to Boo’s house because there was a stigma about him that made everyone shy away in fear from the Radley place. There was always rumours going on about Boo, because of them nearly all children feared him, they would go out of their way just to take a different route to school just to avoid his house. Jem recited what he thought about Boo:
Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were bloodstained — if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. 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. (16)
The rumour of Boo Radley was quite harsh which made him seem even more feared by Jem, and Scout. Jem, and Scout had a new friend this summer, his name was Dill; and he would be spending the whole summer in Maycomb. They would talk about seeing Boo, and wanting him to come out; they played games that were about him. Dill was always curious of Boo Radley, Dill once said, “Let’s try to make him come out,” (16). From then on Dill lessened the fear of Jem, and Scout, and made them start to wonder things about Boo. Soon enough as it was midsummer Scout and Jem would start to wonder what Boo does in his house all alone in the dark, what he looks like after not going outside for years.
Every summer Jem, Scout, and Dill would play games that were about Boo Radley, while they were still trying to find a way to get him out of the house. On Dill’s last day in Maycomb they actually went into the Radley yard and took a peak in the window, but they had to get away quick before Mr. Radley came out after them. In that moment, they were all scared to death. After Jem got his pants he told Scout something that spooked him, “When I went back, they were folded across the fence…like they were expectin’ me…” “Show you when we get home. They’d been sewed up. Not like a lady sewed ’em, like somethin’ I’d try to do. All crooked.” (78) This left both Jem, and Scout thinking that Boo could’ve done this. Also it’s like Boo is watching them, and taking care of them; as a guardian angel. During the school year Jem, and Scout would always pass by a tree with a knot-hole. Many times before they have found small things that they believe were let for them, and they always questioned who was leaving it behind; maybe Walter Cunningham, maybe Boo, or Mr. Avery. One of the last few items they found in the knot-hole were two soap dolls that were whittled to look just like Jem, and Scout. Jem thought from when he first found them that it was Boo who had left them there for Scout, and him to find; just like he left all those other items behind. (80). As of now Jem is starting to realize that Boo Radley isn’t a monster, he’s just trying to be friendly, and give the children small items as gifts to fulfill some of their curiosity. Additionally, there is one moment where Scout realizes that he’s not a monster, and that he was just trying to look out for her, and Jem. The moment when Atticus tells her what happened at the fire of Mrs. Maudie’s house, “You’re right. We’d better keep this blanket to ourselves. Someday, maybe, Scout can thank him for covering her up.” “Thank who?” Scout asked. “Boo Radley. You were so busy looking at the fire you didn’t know it when he put the blanket around you.” (90) Scout now has a question she had so long ago, answered. Scout knows now that Boo is just a friendly human, and is just too scared to come out of his own house to talk with other folk. As the year progressed Scout has had many realizations about Boo, and now she definitely wants to meet Boo.
In To Kill a Mockingbird there are many major events, but this one was a very important one for the relationship between Jem, and Scout. There was a costume Pageant that was being hosted at the school, and Scout was a part of it; she got embarrassed at the pageant, so at the end of it she didn’t want to take her costume off. Jem and Scout were walking home, but as they were they got attacked just a couple feet before they reached their neighbourhood. Scout wasn’t sure of that point, she heard all the fighting between two men, but eventually she ran home after she saw a man running towards her house with Jem. Scout soon realized that it was Boo who saved her brother, “Why there he is, Mr. Tate, he can tell you his name.” (362) She finally got to see Boo after all the summers of trying to get him out of his house, as well as he wasn’t any different than anyone else, he was just shy and damaged from his past. Boo never got the chance to ever have his own kids, which meant that Scout wanted him to experience what it was like to have a kid; she brought him to Jem, “You’d like to say good night to Jem, wouldn’t you, Mr. Arthur? Come right in.” (371) Scout felt safe with Boo, and she wanted him to feel safe as well, she treated him as if he was family or a close friend. She realized he may be an outcast, but he has a big heart, and wants to have an experience like this since he’s never gotten the chance to. Later that night Scout walked Boo home, and she had the greatest realization as soon as she took one look off of the porch she stood on. “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) In this early metaphor in the book it really foreshadowed what would happen near the end of the book. Scout saw everything when she looked at the town from Boo’s point of view, she could see what he saw. She now knew that Boo lived through it all, everything her and Jem did, he saw. She understood that he was like a guardian angel, he would protect them, and give them little clues that showed them that he was watching them. He loved his children even if they weren’t his own.
Curiosity came with fear because it’s always scary to become interested in new concepts and things. While questions are needed to be consistent, meaning that they need to be asked to get closer to the answer. Finally finding out what you’ve been waiting for is a relief because then you can see what made that concept so interesting, and you grow into an intelligent person once you realize all the truths behind what you were curious of. Scout and Jem grew into open-minded adolescent, Scout feels much older after seeing the world through Boo’s eyes. Curiosity changed Jem, and Scout for the better, and they have a better relationship with Boo than they will have with many others. Boo is now appreciated for who he really is as a person.
Tom Robinson, Boo Radley, Scout and Jem Finch: False Perceptions on Peaceful Characters
Throughout the course of history there have always been men and women who have preyed on the innocent. They do this not because it is easy, nor because it is hard, but rather because they can. Their goal is to cause sadness and pain to make themselves feel better in life. These universal trouble makers are present in every form of society. In the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, there are many “Mockingbirds”; peaceful characters who are misread. Tom Robinson, falsely accused of a crime, Scout and Jem Finch, attacked out of hate, and Boo Radley, a misunderstood recluse, all demonstrate this concept.
Tom Robinson was the appointed victim of the book, therefore the most dominant “Mockingbird” in the story. Tom was accused of raping Mayella and throughout his trial, it became obvious that he was innocent and not guilty of what he was accused of. His trial attracted a huge crowd, with black and whites separated in the court house. Even before it started many thought he was guilty because he was black. However Atticus still defended Tom because “…If [Atticus] didn’t, [he] couldn’t hold [his] head up in town, [he] couldn’t tell [Scout] and Jem not to do something again.”(35) Tom Robinson was shot dead for a crime he didn’t do. He didn’t take advantage of Mayella, she took advantage of him. She saved money for a year so she could send her siblings to ice cream so she could follow through with her plan. On Nov 21st she had Tom come in the house so she could do what she wanted. He tried to resist but then Mr. Ewell caught them and Tom ran for his life. It was Mr. Ewell who beat up Mayella and they framed Tom for it. Tom only wanted to help out Mayella but he ended up dead because of it. Tom was a “Mockingbird” figure in many ways. Tom never did any harm to anyone. He was a harmless hardworking man. He was found guilty and died because he was black, when all he wanted to do was help
Due to Mr. Ewell’s desire for revenge on Atticus Finch, Atticus’s kids Scout and Jem Finch, become “Mockingbird” figures as well. Bob Ewell was enraged by what happened during the trial of Tom Robinson. By defending Tom, Atticus exposed the way of life the Ewells live, to the public. Atticus made Bob look like a liar in front of the whole courtroom, triggering Bob to try to get revenge. “…Mr. Bob Ewell stopped Atticus on the post office corner, spat in his face, and told him he’d get him if it took the rest of his life.”(217) The true horror of Bob Ewell, was that he chose to get his revenge by attempting to murder Scout Jem Finch. Even though Scout and Jem hadn’t done anything to him, he still tried to take their lives. Thankfully the only pain he gave them was snapping Jem’s arm. The evil he tried to commit was unthinkable, but in the end he became his own victim and died by “accidently” stabbing himself in the ribs.
Another less obvious “Mockingbird” was Boo Radley, a mysterious character in the novel. He played a very small role in the entire book, yet he was one of the most significant characters. Although, to our knowledge, he never did anything to anyone in the town, “According to Miss Stephanie, Boo was sitting in the living room cutting some items from the Maycomb Tribune to paste in his scrapbooks when his father entered the room. As Mr. Radley passed by, Boo drove the scissors into his parents leg, wiped them on his pants, and resumed of his activities”(11). This was one of the many horror stories that haunted the poor man. In talking to his friend Dill, Jem tells him that “…Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were bloodstained…”(1.65). He was a normal kind man in real life. He chose to stay inside because he didn’t like the world outside, because of this he was judged and rumors were created about him.
Many people constantly judge and attack others with rumors that are not true. Tom Robinson, falsely accused of a crime, Scout and Jem Finch, attacked because of hate, and Boo Radley, a misunderstood recluse. None of these “Mockingbird” figures ever did anything wrong. They were kind caring people who just wanted to help others. Tom Robinson was just doing good deeds for Mayella, however the events that followed killed him for a crime he didn’t commit, people verbally attacked Atticus for just trying to do his job to help Tom Robinson, causing Jem and Scout to be attacked in the twisted form of Bob Ewell getting revenge on Atticus when they were only just innocent children. Boo Radley chose to live his the way he saw it. However the town ridiculed him because his indoor lifestyle was not seen right by his town. For many different reasons, these “Mockingbirds” were hunted just like those in the wild. No one can figure out why the good sometimes suffer in the end, but Harper Lee vividly exposes her readers to the lives of these “Mockingbird” figures. In a world of racism and ignorance, the message of “killing a mockingbird is a sin” can never be honored, but with Harper Lee’s book to remind us, someday the “mockingbirds” will live and fly free.
To Kill a Mockingbird: Boo Bradley’s Disappearance
Why Is Boo Radley Never Seen Again?
To Kill A Mockingbird is a story about segregation and racism in the south during the early 20th century. In To Kill A Mockingbird, there are many important characters, such as Scout, Jem, Atticus, Calpurnia, and Tom Robinson. However, an important character that was never seen or talked to throughout the whole book, until the very end, was Boo Radley. Boo Radley is an essential character in his book for many reasons. One of theses reasons is to keep a sense of mystery in the story. Another is to play an essential part in the ending of the story.
At the end of To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout and Jem are walking home from a halloween pageant when Mr. Ewell followed them while carrying a knife. Mr. Ewell tried to stab both of the children because their father Atticus diminished Mr. Ewell’s last shred of credibility in the courthouse. Atticus was able to do this because he provided a lot of evidence that supported the innocence of Tom Robinson. When Mr. Ewell tried to kill Jem and Scout, this was his revenge on Atticus. Mr. Ewell probably would have killed them, but Boo Radley helped Jem and Scout escape alive. Boo Radley carries Jem home because he was unconscious from fighting with Mr. Ewell. After this, Scout walks Boo Radley home and says goodbye to him. Scout never sees Boo Radley again.
Scout never sees Boo Radley again because he was stabbed by Mr. Ewell. This is why Boo was standing underneath the tree for a second breathing heavily. Boo Radley most likely died of internal bleeding from the stab wound after Scout walked him back to his house. Scout never sees him agin before he dies. This is a key aspect of the story.
It is an important part of the story that Scout never sees Boo Radley again because it shows how he was willing to give his life to save two children that he had never met before. It shows that Boo was truly an extremely kind and caring person, despite the popular belief in Maycomb that Boo was a terrible person because he underwent a trial for something during his teenage years. Due to the fact that Scout never sees Boo again, she was upset because Boo was trying to reach out and be friends with Jem and her, so he left small items for them in the tree by his house, but Jem and Scout never leave anything for Boo in the tree. Scout feet bad because she never became friends with Boo and never lived up to her part of their unique friendship by placing items in the tree for Boo.
Overall, the fact that Scout never sees Boo Radley again greatly impacts the ending of the story. Boo Radley was truly a main character throughout the whole story. Without Boo Radley being seen at the end, the story would not have been the same. The mysterious feeling the reader has throughout the whole book had to end at some point to make it an enjoyable book in the reader’s opinion. There was no doubt Boo Radley made this book interesting, but he played a vital part in it.
To Kill a Mockingbird: How Boo Bradley Influenced Scout’s Growth
From the start, the reader was always given the impression that Scout was immature and would never grow up as long as she kept on acting the way she does with others. One of Scout’s biggest fears would probably be Arthur Radley, also known as Boo Radley. Arthur Radley is a middle aged man who is imprisoned in his house forced to spend the days in solitude. Miss Stephanie Crawford spreads widely imaginative rumors about Arthur and how he is supposed to look. This impression causes the children to fear Arthur Radley. Scout is but an immature child as the novel begins and her impressions of Boo’s character are fearful and scary.
From the beginning of the novel, Scout has always been curious of what Boo looks like, but on the other hand, she is frightened to find out. Scout is terrified by the image of Boo Radley and doesn’t stop to think of how sad his life must be, being locked up in his house against his own will. Scout believes that Boo is “six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks” (Chapter 1 Pg. 7) and that “he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were bloodstained” (Chapter 1 Pg. 7). Scout is very childish, she lets her imagination flow about Boo Radley and she fails to think about the other side of the story, Boo’s side of the story. As she returns from school every day, she runs as she passes the Radley house, she is too terrified and engulfed in her imaginations to realize that there is nothing to be afraid of and when Dill and Jem begin to grow closer and carry out risky missions to get a peek of Boo, she brings out her immature self when she denies going with them and telling them that it would be dangerous, but really, she is truthfully scared on the inside.
In later Chapters, Scout’s character begins to slowly improve and develop as she learns to be sympathetic for Boo. Her character changes as she learns about Boo’s past as a child from Miss Maudie. Scout begins to mature at this part when she realizes that Boo is the victim of his father and family. Boo plays a large role on her character in the middle of the novel because, after she learns about Boo’s past she begins to realize that appearances can be deceiving. To add on even more to this, her grateful attitude and her new impression of Boo are enforced when she realizes that Boo had put a blanket on her when Miss Maudie’s house was on fire. During the school year, Scout and Jem begins to receive gifts from Boo, she realizes that Boo is a very kind man who watches over them. Her character changes here again when she begins to fear Boo less and less, but instead, she wants to leave him alone to give him his privacy. As Jem and Scout begin to realize that they should give a thank you letter to Boo, we realize that Scout is becoming more and more of a proper lady acting like a lady should. She feels thankful for everything that has been given to them by Boo and she appreciates his deeds. But, here in the novel, the readers can infer that Boo does not want them to give him the thank you letter because he wants privacy and he know what would happen if Nathan Radley finds them.
In the end, Scout’s character is heavily impacted by Boo when Jem and her as rescued by Boo during the night of the pageant when they are attacked by Bob Ewell. When she realizes that it was Boo who saved them, she finally understands that all the mean and harsh rumors about him were all lies, but in reality, Boo was a kind loving man, who watched over her, protecting her. Her character here changes drastically where she drops the whole tomboy act and instantly turns into a proper lady. She matures deeper to understanding what Atticus had meant when he told her that she had to walk in someone’s skin to understand them. As she walks Boo home she makes sure no one can make any more rumors about him by making it look like Boo was escorting her. As Scout stands on the porch, her character has undergone a serious modification into a proper and considerate lady of Maycomb. Along with her new character, she realizes that the truth is, Boo just wants to be left alone and given the joy of watching over his “kids”. Finally, she understands now that Boo is a mocking bird, and innocent man of justice, as she looks back on this event she has truly changed. She has realized that Boo was like their guardian, and deep down she had known this all along.
Scout is an immature “brat” in the beginning of the story, but over the courses of 31 chapters, her character is dramatically changed by the impact of Boo Radley. This man who was feared by her had now become her hero and friend. She realizes in the end that Boo is a caring person who looked over her, protecting her, and someone who gave her the gift of life. She changes where as she has completely dropped her immature character and developed a more understanding and proper character. Through her experiences with Boo, she has come to understand 2 themes in the novel: innocence can be found in different forms and appearances can be deceiving.