How do I write a monologue on Boo Radley from To Kill A Mockingbird?I have to write a 2-3 minute monologue on Boo Radley in which he voices opinions and justifies or defends himself/his actions...

How do I write a monologue on Boo Radley from To Kill A Mockingbird?

I have to write a 2-3 minute monologue on Boo Radley in which he voices opinions and justifies or defends himself/his actions with regard to an event in the novel. It has to provide new information that enhances the understanding of Boo Radley. What event from the book should I choose?

Asked on by cjgarde

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kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

There are lots of possible events which involved Arthur 'Boo' Radley, and as his voice is never heard in the novel, a monologue exploring his viewpoint would be most interesting. Here are my suggestions -

1. Arthur's 'unruly' behaviour which led to his family keeping him at home rather than face public reprimand. What was Arthur's view of this? How did his life change from this point?

2. The alleged stabbing of his father. Was this a real event? If so, what prompted his reaction/ If not, what is Arthur's view of where the rumour came from?

3. Placing the gifts in the knothole. Why did Arthur wish to communicate with the Finches? What was the symbolic significance of the gifts he left?

4. Mending Jem's pants. What was Arthur's view of the children striving to see him? How did he feel towards them? Did he repair the pants? If so, why?

5. Placing the blanket around Scout's shoulders during the fire. Why did he risk leaving his house to do this? What were his feelings about the fire?

6. The defence of Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell's attack. Why was Arthur there? Why did he take responsibility for the children? What actually happened between him and Bob Ewell? How aware was Arthur of the events of the Tom Robinson trial?

I would choose the last option, as there are many possibilities to reflect on Arthur Radley's viewpoint of the key events of the novel.

Good luck with your writing!

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

While the greatest temptation may be to choose Boo Radley's heroic act of saving Jem and Scout from the murderous Bob Ewell at the novel's end, a monologue on another action of Boo's could, perhaps, be more originally written.

Take, for example, the episode in Chapter 5 in which the children try to communicate with Boo by sending him a note, but Atticus returns home for a file and catches them. So, then, in Chapter 6, Dill and Jem decide that they will just peek into a window at night when Atticus is engrossed in a book.  The children decide to go under the wire fence. Once near a window Jem and Scout make a saddle of their hands and lift Dill to the window; nothing can be seen inside. Next, Jim steps on the porch board that makes a creaking sound, but he reaches a window and looks in.  However, there is a shadow that walks across Jem. Seeing this, the children flee in terror, but Jem catches his pants on the fence, and he must climb out of them to get free.  Later, his father comes out when he hears a shotgun fire, but when Atticus notices that Jem has no pants, Dill lies about Jem's losing his pants to him.  Worried late at night that Atticus will catch him in his lie, Jem feels compelled to return for his pants.  Surprisingly, they have been stitched for him.

Now, to create a monologue about this incident from the perspective of Boo Radley, one must do as Scout learns; that is, one must climb into Boo's skin and "walk around in it."  By changing the point of view as Boo, one can describe what has happened that night in a much different manner.  For instance, Boo could express the fact that he has been forbidden to go outside in years; however, he has watched the children and hated to hear them speak of him as a "haint." Seeing Dill peek into the window, Boo has wanted to wave or tap the glass, but he is unable because Mr. Radley has been alerted.  When Mr. Radley steps outside, Boo feels several emotions:  fear, curiosity, loneliness.  Frustrated that the children are so close, but still think he is a freak, Boo makes the effort to show his kind feelings toward them by sewing Jem's pants.

This episode from an early chapter affords the voice of Boo Radley to express his longings that have been surpressed for so long.  That the children came with a note the day before shows Boo they are more than afraid of him; he realizes that they wish to commununicate. And, he does, too. This is why he has mended Jem's pants.  Boo wishes to tell the children he likes them.

A monologue can be poetic, so perhaps one could employ the different images of the children that Boo has obtained as he watches silently from inside his melancholy house.  Why, he may have almost laughed aloud as he has watched the children!  And, the night when they thought they were sneaking up to his house, was so funny as they snuck up as if they were soldiers. Yet, he wanted so to talk with them.


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