Topic 4: Examine and analyze the character Arthur “Boo” Radley.

Topic 4: Examine and analyze the character Arthur “Boo” Radley.  What is his purpose in the novel—why does he exist?  How would the story be different without him?

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First of all i disagree with you Honesty when you said: "Don't judge others based on what you see". It should be don't judge others on what you hear because we all know no body saw him until the end. Dill wasn't there to help Boo Radley come out, he was there to have fun a look for the monster that the rumors made about Radley.

Although, Boo Radley has always secretly been for the kids I disagree that is his purpose. To add on, many people in the book were there for the kids. People like Miss Maudie, Calpurnia, Atticus, and even Miss Alexandra helped the kids and taught them valuable lessons. To build on this, when the kids were being attacked by Bob Ewell anyone could have been there to save them it just happened that Harper Lee (author) decided to make it Boo that saves them. Boo being the one that saves the kids leads to teach and make Scout fully understand one of the biggest morals in the text. Scout shows that she comprehends what Atticus has been trying to teach her along through Boo Radley by stating, "Atticus, he was real nice" (Lee 376). These four words illuminate on the of biggest character developments in the book. Scout has matured through these words because they prove that she looks at Arthur Radley as who he is-a misjudged innocent (mockingbird)- not how the town of Maycomb has showcased him to be-a ruthless monster. Even though, Boo was always around the kids somehow that is not the reason Harper Lee made out his character as it is.

I don't fully agree with you, Cranberry 9C, that Boo Radley's 'main purpose' in the novel is to look out for Jem and Scout, because the only actual time that Boo was looking out for Scout and Jem was at the end of the story when he saved them from Bob Ewell. Although Boo Radley cares about the children, I think that there's more to this character than looking out for Scout and Jem, because they have Atticus and their aunt -- even Calpurnia to watch out for them. The more significant purpose for having Arthur Radley in the story is to symbolize a mockingbird and what happens when you kill a mockingbird. Boo Radley also conveys the key themes of the story and offers a new perspective to Scout and Jem. Through Boo, Scout learns how to understand and sympathize with others. Scout actually acknowledges and understand the fact that Arthur Radley is a mockingbird even though she is at a very young age. At the end of the book, when Mr. Heck Tate makes it clear that the innocence of Boo would be threatened if he would be put through a trial for the death of Ewell, Atticus asks Scout if she understands and she says, "Well it'd be sort of like shootin' a mockingbird, wouldn't it?" (Lee 276). At the beginning of the book, Scout and her brother would believe all the gossip people said and imagine Arthur Radley as some kind of monster -- but later on in the book, they started seeing the other side of him and understanding that "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view" (Lee 30). Scout and Jem start to comprehend how prejudiced people can be and start having a more open mindset rather than having so much biases towards people who are different from them, like the rest of Maycomb. 

I slightly disagree with your point, there's more to his purpose. What you said only became a factor by the end of the book. Boo Radley also became the highlight of the children's childhood, it gave them an amazing sense of adventure and curiosity that every child must feel; and in a way, this experience changed Jem, Scout and Dill affected the character development throughout the story. To illuminate this point, Scout says at the end of the book, "'It is a scary place though, ain't it?' I said. 'Boo doesn't mean anybody any harm, but I'm right glad you're along.' […] 'Ain't you scared of haints?' We laughed. Haints, Hot Steams, incantations, secret signs, had vanished with our years as mist with sunrise" (Lee 347). This shows that the children's experience with Boo still affected them years later. This proves that there's more of a purpose to the character than to just be someone to look out for Jem and Scout. And that purpose is to provide Jem and Scout with the first "test-subject" to understand some of the life lessons Atticus had taught them, as well as to feel a sense of empathy for others.

In the beginning of the book, Boo Radley was seen as a scary figure since no one actually met him or had stood in his shoes. Then at the end of the book, he was seen as a heroic figure because he put himself at risk just to save Scout and Jem. This shows that whenever we don’t know a person, we assume things about him/her. But after we put ourselves in their place, we understand who they really are. In the book To Kill a Mockingbird, the author Harper Lee writes “one time [Atticus] said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough” (Lee 374). This shows that when Scout saw Boo Radley, she who he really was and was not like what she had assumed he was. Everyone in Maycomb was basically judging Boo even though he had never been out of his house which doesn’t make sense because how can someone judge an individual you have not seen before. But overall, he is a very important character in the book because as humans we often judge. So this character is showing us that the Maycomb community judged pretty quickly without waiting to see who he was which was a heroic figure.

I disagree with you because in the end he was not seen as a heroic figure but rather someone you should feel pity for because people know he killed Bob Ewell even Atticus does, Atticus is a lawyer who was willing to put his own son on trial when he thought Jem killed Bob Ewell but didn't want to out Arthur on trial, why? Because everyone feels bad for Arthur, this can be seen in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, "Will you take me home?, He almost whispered it, in the voice of a child afraid of the dark" (Lee 278). A hero wouldn't be scared to go home by themselves, Scout felt sad for him, " we had given him nothing, and it made me sad" (Lee 278). Harper Lee did not make Boo a hero, he doesn't see himself as one, and neither does anyone else. Arthur Radley was just doing something any good human being would do.

I disagree with you Ibbay when you say "people know he killed Bob Ewell" because no one other than Atticus, Mr.Tate, Scout and maybe Jem, will ever know that it was Arthur who killed Bob Ewell. Mr.Tate covers for Arthur Radley and Atticus tries to do the same by saying it was Jem who killed Bob Ewell. In chapter 30 Mr.Tate won't allow Atticus to blame on Jem and instead says " Mr.Finch," Mr.Tate said stolidly, "Bob Ewell fell on his knife. He killed himself." (Lee, 366), but the reason they tried covering up for Arthur Radley might have been out of pity or in Atticus's case gratitude for saving Jem and Scout.

             I agree with you Ibbay that Boo Radley did kill Bob Ewell. He killed him for a reason which was saving Jem and Scout. Even if Jem had killed Bob Ewell (he didn’t kill him), he would also have been seen as a heroic figure because he would have saved his and Scout’s life. In the book To kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee writes “Before [Atticus] went inside the house, he stopped in front of Boo Radley. Thank you for my children, Arthur he said” (Lee 370). This evidence shows that even Atticus, the lawyer, the one that knows Boo killed Bob, is still thanking him for what he had done which was saving his children by killing Bob Ewell. Killing an individual is obviously wrong. But killing someone to save children’s’ lives is something else and could be called heroism.  

The Authentic Socializer, saving the childrens' lives is heroic but anyone in Maycomb could have done so. We know that Jem & Scout were cared for by many people in Maycomb, one of which could have saved their lives. But Harper Lee didn't make Boo Radley's character just to get rid of someone who attempted to hurt the kids, because like i said, anyone could have done that. He was there for a much more meaningful reason. Towards the end of the novel, we learn that Scout had become more open-minded to Boo's situation when she says "People have a habit of doing everyday things under the oddest conditions."(Lee364). This evidence shows us that Boo's character was not to kill the antagonist, Bob Ewell, but rather to open up Scout's eyes and teach her what she was missing.

Arthur "Boo" Radley portrays the outcast and most judged person in the story, even though no one ever sees him. He is a representation of other people's ignorance and prejudice. There are so many stories made up about Arthur that are not even based on fact. This leads to stereotyping about Arthur and creating this scary image of him, which causes people to come up with the name Boo -- assuming he's a spooky/frightening person. Scout and Jem assume things about Arthur so they are really afraid of him. The whole town of Maycomb judges Arthur based on the past, but they don't even know why everything happened in the first place. In the book, To Kill A Mockingbird, the author - Harper Lee - states, "Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom. People said he existed, but Jem and I had never seen him. People said he went out at night when the moon was down, and peeped in windows. When people's azaleas froze in a cold snap, it was because he breathed on them...Once the town was terrorized by a series of morbid nocturnal events..although the culprit was Crazy Addie, who eventually drowned himself in Barker's Edd, people still looked at the Radley Place, unwilling to discard their initial suspicions" (Lee 9). This piece of evidence shows that people let their gossip get the best of them. Even when they found out who actually caused the unusual events to happen, they still have a suspicion that Arthur was the one who did it. They don't base their view from fact and rely on stereotypes and rumors. Without Arthur Radley in the book, Scout might not have learned a very important life lesson, which is not to judge anyone without having experienced what they've been through. As Arthur slowly reveals himself to the children, they finally see that he is not such a horrible person at all. Arthur Radley plays a role that develops some of the themes the story is trying to show, such as ignorance and prejudice. Arthur is also one of the mockingbirds in the story, because his spirit was destroyed and his freedom was stripped away from him at a young age because he'd just been caught up in the wrong crowd as a teen. He was locked up by his father for years - his innocence deprived in an instant. 

Boo Radley's purpose in the book was to provide a heroic figure to Scout and Jem and to open Scout's mind to the important lesson Atticus taught her about putting herself in other's shoes; Boo allowed her to understand this concept. He exists to make sure Scout learns this lesson to be able to use it later on in life during certain scenarios. The story would be very different without Boo, as it eliminates the adventures of curiosity for Jem, Scout and Dill as they messed around with him and his house with the thrill of all the rumors of what kind of terrible person Boo Radley is. At the end of the story is when Boo Radley's purpose is revealed, Scout finally walks him home, then walking back from his front porch, she imagines everything that went on with them, through his point of view and understands how, and what he felt. This happened after the accident with Jem and Scout on there way back home from the pageant then being attacked by Bob Ewell with a knife. Boo saved them and ended up stabbing and killing Bob Ewell, after this he then carries Jem's injured and unconscious body back to Jem's house to Atticus; it is also then revealed that Scout's costume was slashed, saving her from the knife because of Boo Radley. This gives Scout and Jem a heroic figure to look up to, and to understand that not everything they hear from others is true. To illuminate this point, when Scout delivers Boo home, after the incident described earlier, she sees many things from  Boo's point of view. Scout says, "Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough" (Lee 374). This shows that Scout finally understood the lesson Atticus taught her, and she finally experienced it first-hand. Standing on Boo's porch she felt empathy and knew just how to put herself in other's shoes, Boo Radley being the first victim of this. All in all, Boo Radley's role in To Kill a Mockingbird is very important, as it further advances the character development of Scout and Jem, as well as creating a mysterious and adventurous tone in the plot of the story; the book would be completely different without these effects that Boo Radley creates.

Arthur Boo Radly purpose in the novel is to be the mysterious neighbor who lives in a haunted house.But later on in the novel he ends up teaching Scout and Jem a lesson.In which to put yourself in the other persons skin before you judge.Scout finally realizes the true meaning of this when she meets Arthur Boo Radley in person.Scout realizes that the things she heard was just rumors.The story would be different if he wasnt their in many ways.First of all Scout and Jem would ofnever been saved in the ending.which could of been alot worse if he werent there.Second there would not have been that mysterious character in the book that Scout,Jem and Dilll were curious about,they spent so much time in their summers to see how Boo Radley really was.



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