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Because he has spent most of his life as a recluse, Boo is a mystery to others. Thus, he acts as something as a foil in the novel--each character reveals something of him or herself in what they see in him. Atticus, true to character, reserves judgement and refuses to comment about or condemn Boo.The gossips in the town, on the other hand, see him as dangerous, for he is unknown to them and unpredictable. But Boo is far from a danger. He is childlike--he laughs at the children. He is caring--he fixes Jem's pants and puts a blanket around Scout's shoulders during the fire. And he is protective over those he loves: he risks everything--life and freedom--to save Jem.
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