You need to have read thru chapter eight of To Kill a Mockingbird to respond to this topic.  If you have NOT read thru chapter eight, please do NOT read further (as it will spoil/give away information you haven't read yet).

  • In chapter eight we continue to just miss Boo.  He continues to play a huge role in this novel--even though we have never seen him.  He's just talked about in whispers, and while everyone thinks he's a recluse, it's clear that he does go outside the house--he gives lots of presents to Jem and Scout and even puts a blanket around Scout in chapter eight.  Boo is a clearly a character of great importance even though we haven't met him.
  • So here is the question: What is the purpose of Arthur "Boo" Radley?  What is his role in the story so far?  Why does his character exist?  And here's another way to look at it: How would the story change--what would it lose--if Boo Radley was NOT in the book?  (Make sure to link your answer to the "big picture" and the central ideas that this book explores.)

Tags: TKaMB

Views: 742

Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

Boo Radley's role is different than the rest of the characters. He is looked at badly by the neighborhood kids. People are scared of him just because he is not like them. He is not really a bad person but they just need to get to know him and look past his differences. An example is when Miss Maudie's house was on fire, he put a blanket on Scout. His nice gesture showed he has another side to him. I am pretty sure this happens all the time in real life. People just believe what they hear and feel safer staying away from people who are different. 

I tend to think that Boo Radley does play an important role in the story. I think that he doesn't show up too much in the To Kill A Mockingbirdbecause we don't have much people similar to him in the real world.Buthe does play a huge, magnificent role in the novel because he grabs a lot of the characters attention, which every character has a different perspective and thought about him. To prove this point, thought by Scout, "What Mr.Radley did might seem peculiar to us, but it did not to [Atticus]."(Lee 65). This proves that every character has different perspectives and thoughts of Mr.Radley, but all lead to the same conclusion about Mr.Radley. Also it does relate to us today. As you can see in this discussion, everyone has different thoughts about Mr.Radley. Hmmm...What can this lead us to? 

                                                                                                                                     *Numia Alward!

     Arthur Radley's character shows the measures people go to bring other down. The town was unable to go past simple rumors and past mistakes. This town was so obsessed with him and little did people know the truth. All the people hear were Miss Crawford's gossip that, "Boo drove the scissors into his parent's leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activities," and was never seen again (Lee 13). They knew that he was punished but didn't know the character change that has occurred. they are so caught up in the past they refuse to see past simple mistakes. What they don't see is the good side of Arthur. In the fire accident, " [Scout was] so busy looking at the fire [she] didn't know it when [Boo] put a blanket around [her]," this is important to show that Arthur isn't a bad person (Lee 96). He didn't have to come out and give Scout the blanket. He could have stayed inside and let her shiver in the cold. But just like how Scout didn't realize the blanket, the town did not think that he could have changed. Even Miss Maude thinks that he might have gone crazy. This goes to show that when one were t make a mistake, people don't see beyond it. 

i feel that up to this point in the story, boo is not that bad of a person and has done nothing wrong. i think he is actually going to turn out to become a good character in the rest of the novel. what worries me is that we still don't know exactly how jem broke his arm scout does say that he thinks its the Ewells fault, but jem thinks that it started "when Dill first gave [them] the idea of making boo come out"(Lee 3). But i cannot see how Boo, somebody who is treating Jem and Scout so nicely, can inflict so much damage onto Jem. to me it appears that Boo is just looking for a friend, somebody to talk to (hence the presents) but it appears that Boo will have something to do with the breaking of his arm. because Lee didn't mention how Jem broke his arm, i really feel that will be the "peak" of the story. i think that Boo will have a very important role on the story as a whole.

I think Boo Radley was a symbol for something. In the novel, Jem and Scout were were always shown to be explorers and quite adventurous. They were curious as to what the man looked like. They've attempted a few times to interact with him but he always seemed to shut them out and ignore. For Example, during the Summer when their friend Dill would visit, they decided that they were going to look through his window to see him. "Dill stopped and let Jem... head and looked in" (Lee71) After a fail at that, Jem lost his pants and later that night he went back, however they were folded nicely and sewn, "When [Jem] went back... Comin' back for 'em" (Lee78). This clearly was Boo Radley as he was they only Radley who went outside and knew someone was lurking in his backyard. Another time was when Miss Maudie's went up in flames. Jem and scout were in the freezing weather watching from a safe distance. Boo Radley had covered Scout with a blanket without her knowledge. I think Boo Radley is a symbol for anyone who is different in our world, whether it'd be a minority or someone from a different sexuality. I think he doesn't mean to ignore Jem and Scout but he isn't comfortable with coming off so strong after being hidden for so long so he begins to do little things to open up slowly. Like we've said before in class, "different" people may not be comfortable with someone who's normal. So he tries to take it slow and lose his fears slowly.

Boo is not a normal character, he is different then any other character. Other people don't like him and don't feel comfortable around him because he is different. People don't know him but if they really do they will like him and feel comfortable around him. The neighbors also don't like him because he is different. He is very important and without him the story would be different.

Boo Radley in my opinion is a very lonely character because he is very infamous in Maycomb; he is known as a scary person that is hated by the community. I would think he is very lonely because of all these false judgments he might be scared to face the population and that's why he is always inside the house. When Jem and scout started showing interest in Boo Radley he then had an urge to go out and give presents or even help in the fire. Maybe he felt thankful in a way because of the boys trying to come near him. In chapter 8 Atticus stated "Boo Radley. You were too busy looking at the fire you didn’t know it when he put the blanket on you"(Lee 72). This shows that boo Radley cares about the kids and he just didn't put it on anyone but the kids that were trying to "provoke" him. I would say he represents the people that are very different than the population which is being hated on. If he wasn't in the story than the kids won’t learn to know someone before judging since they are slowly realizing that boo Radley isn't so scary.


Arthur "Boo" Radley is an important character in the book so far. His purpose in the story is to be different from other people. Most people are scared of him and make rumors about him just because they don't know him. However, he isn't a bad character. As we have seen so far, Scout and Jem are interested in him and vice versa. Boo Radley has done many things -even if they were kind of minor - for them. For instance, Scout and Jem were outside in the cold and after they went inside, Atticus noticed a blanket and told Scout,"Boo Radley. You were so busy looking at the fire you didn't know it when he put the blanket around you"(Lee96). This shows us that Boo Radley isn't a bad character and he helps people. Also, if people give him a chance he might start going outside more and become friends with people. Then people will see that there is no harm in being different.
I think the purpose of "Boo" Radley in the story is to show that we judge without any actual knowledge of who an individual is.We hear these stereotypes, biases, and prejudices and form our opinions,which is not the right thing to do because there is more to a person than what we hear about him/her. We also let labels get in the way of how we treat a person but it is important to understand that one word does not define an individual. His role so far in the story is an individual that interests Jem,Scout, and Dill.He seems to be mysterious and makes the children question more about him. I think that "Boo"exists because he is different and when someone is different we either find them interesting or we like to stay away from the person.This can be seen in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird when Jem states "'he's crazy, like they say [but he ain't ever harmed us, he ain't ever hurt us]'"(Lee 96). This evidence shows that the children thought wrong about Mr.Radley when all along he did not even do anything to them.This evidence also shows that we agree with others so easily at times and we do not even know both points of view.After all,I think that it is important to form our own opinions based on the knowledge we have about an individual.

I agree to what you have to say Dazzleta about how we judge without actually knowing if its true or not about an individual. Majority of people always judge others without knowing how that person really is or feels. This is all due to our personal biases we have toward people. Not only is this in real life but even in the book: "To Kill a Mockingbird". This is mostly shown when Jem, Scout, and Dill always refer to Boo Radley as someone who is a monster or a very scary person. They don't know how Boo Radley looks or who he is, but because of the many stereotypes that everyone has on them, they tend to believe the same thing.   

I believe that Boo Radley is a very important character in the book "To Kill a Mockingbird". His character makes up most of the story and without him, there wouldn't be much of to say in the book. Without this character, there wouldn't be much happening with Jem, Scout, and Dill. It is mostly shown in chapter 5, when they went to Boo Radley: " 'We [Jem and Dill] are going to give a note to Boo Radley,' " (Lee 62). During this chapter Jem, Dill, and later on Scout, all went to Boo Radley's house to give him a letter, and if this character didn't exist then there wouldn't be much happening in the book because he is that one character that is different from everyone else in Maycomb.  

I think the purpose of author "Boo" Radley is to show the conflict or the problem or thing everyone is trying to know about. The character is mysterious and has many things that everyone wonders about which makes the story interesting because it brings people to try and find out. As in the story when others try to explain him they usually say I heard or I think which makes the character different and "weird". However at the same time I think that the mysterious character is used as a distraction from a big conflict because when everyone is focusing on trying to figure out a simple conflict they usually tend to forget the larger and more serious conflicts.



Win at School

Commercial Policy

If you are representing a commercial entity, please see the specific guidelines on your participation.





© 2023   Created by Steve Hargadon.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service