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How does the character of Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird show courage by saving...

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anac1295 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted July 13, 2011 at 4:54 AM via web

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How does the character of Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird show courage by saving Jem and Scout and by leaving his house?

relate your answer to the quote“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear”

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jenniferhays | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted July 13, 2011 at 7:33 AM (Answer #1)

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Boo Radley suffers from a form of social anxiety which makes it almost impossible for him to leave his home, and interact with others. 

You provided a quote, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear”.  This quote is certainly relevant to Boo Radley’s character. 

Saving Jem and Scout from the vicious attach of Bob Ewell would have required Boo to leave his home.  Can you imagine how difficult this would be for someone who suffers from such a severe form of social anxiety?  He must have known that by saving “his” children, that he would have received unwanted attention.  Yet, despite this extreme fear, he did not let this stop him from saving the children. 

Therefore, bravery is not the absence of fear, but the actions that occur despite our greatest fears. 

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted July 17, 2011 at 3:55 PM (Answer #2)

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Arthur 'Boo' Radley has been confined for all of his adult life as a consequence of what was considered a 'wild' youth. Boo is courageous in revealing himself to the children, firstly through the gifts in the knothole, then in defending them from Bob Ewell's attack after the trial.

Boo defies his brother in communicating with the children, and seeks to protect them whilst putting himself in danger. It is most probable that Boo killed Bob Ewell in the struggle to defend Scout and Jem. Boo has subjected himself to the leagal incarceration his family avoided years ago by these actions.

There is also a courage shown by the children in accepting Boo once he is revealed to them. He remains a mysterious and private man to the end of the novel, but his actions indicate to the children that he is a noble man who they were right to trust.

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