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In "To Kill a Mockingbird" compare and contrast the character of Boo Radley to Tom...

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lissa671 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 24, 2009 at 10:27 AM via web

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In "To Kill a Mockingbird" compare and contrast the character of Boo Radley to Tom Robinson

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 24, 2009 at 11:56 AM (Answer #1)

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Comparisons:  They were both sentenced by authorities of the law (Boo by a judge to the boy's school, Tom to jail), both treated unfairly (Tom by almost everyone, Boo by his father and brother), both misunderstood and misjudged, both key factors in the events surrounding the ending of the novel and Bob Ewell's attack, both key factors in teaching Jem and Scout about decency, morals, justice and humanity, both kind-hearted (Tom did work for Mayella often, Boo helped the kids out and befriended them), both were defended by Atticus (Tom literally with the trial, Boo when Atticus tries to protect Boo's privacy from the kids).  Both of their innocent natures are symbolic of the mockingbird's song, and how it is a sin to shoot those birds.

Contrasts:  Tom ended up being killed by a brutal society whereas Boo was just shunned by it.  Tom actually received a sentence from a jury that was his punishment-along with society's racism, whereas Boo was a victim only of an overbearing and cruel father.  Tom lived a normal life and Boo was a recluse.

Those are just a few ideas to get you started.  Good luck!

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