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In To Kill a Mockingbird, how does Atticus explain Boo Radley to Jem and Scout? What...

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badbwoik | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 16, 2009 at 4:36 AM via web

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, how does Atticus explain Boo Radley to Jem and Scout?

What do Jem and Scout learn from what he has said?

Please leave any useful websites and page numbers if you know the quotes atticus uses to best explain to jem and scout about boo radley and how they learn from it.

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troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted January 16, 2009 at 10:23 PM (Answer #1)

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Atticus' most famous quote is "You really never understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."  Atticus told her this in chapter 3 referring to her teacher, but Scout applies it to Boo in the final chapter as she's on his porch.

When the kids get caught trying to give Boo a letter (with the fishing pole) Atticus says about that and their play that they keep putting on for the neighborhood, "You stop this nonsense right now, every one of you."  From that point on, the kids don't enact the play any more.  The only thing they do is try to sneak a peak in Boo's back window, but they don't pester him again. 

In chapter 11 Atticus tells them, "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."  This is applying at the time to Mrs. Dubose.  However, it also applies to Boo and how he stepped out and saved them, even though he doesn't leave the house.  He did it for them. That was true courage.

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zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted December 31, 2014 at 9:34 PM (Answer #3)

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The first thing he ever says is how you will not understand a person until you look through their eyes. This can be a perfect representation of Boo Radley because the children believed that Boo Radley was a myth and had a warped perception of him. However, as they grew older they understood the reasons why he might stay inside the house. 

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