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What is the relationship between Boo Radley and the children in "To Kill a...

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patar333 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 2, 2008 at 7:56 AM via web

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What is the relationship between Boo Radley and the children in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

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writergal06 | Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted December 2, 2008 at 8:58 AM (Answer #1)

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At the beginning of the novel, Boo Radley is a mystery to the children. As they continue to try to get Boo to come out, their opinion of him changes from one of fear to one of curiosity. The gifts in the tree bring their relationship to one of distant friendship. This is when the children begin to make Boo the hero of their games rather than the villain. By the end of chapter 8, Boo Radley has become a distant watchful protector, which is the role he continues to play until the end of the novel. He always shows up when the children need him, providing Scout with a blanket in Chapter 8, and saving Jem at the end of the novel.

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katemschultz | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted December 2, 2008 at 8:48 AM (Answer #2)

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The relationship changes throughout the book. At first, the kids think that Boo is a terrible monster and prisoner in his own home. When Boo begins to leave gifts in the knot hole for them and when he puts a blanket around Scout during the fire at Miss Maudie's house, the realize that maybe he isn't all that bad. Boo ceases to be an object of fascination for them during Tom's trial. But seeing the injustice that Tom suffers makes the kids understand why Boo chooses to stay in his house.

The kids come to see Boo as a real person when he saves them from Bob Ewell. Scout treats him as she would any neighbor. She understands now that Boo had been watching her and Jem the whole time, and that he was a true neighbor--looking our for them when they needed him. Though she never sees Boo again after that night, she still thinks of him fondly, as we can tell by her older self's voice in this story.

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sahrawagwon1212 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:06 PM (Answer #3)

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     The relationship between Boo and the children change through the course of the novel. At first, the kids both think that Boo is a terrible monster and prisoner inside his own home. As Boo begins to leave gifts in the knot hole for them and when he puts a blanket around Scout during the fire at Miss Maudie's house, the realize that maybe he isn't so bad. Boo wants to be a human of fascination for them during Tom's trial. It’s said,“Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time... it's because he wants to stay inside." (23.117) Seeing the prejudice that Tom suffered makes the kids understand why Boo decided to stay in his house. The kids come to see Boo as a real person when he saves them from Bob Ewell, and not the monster he was once portrayed, “. Scout then treats him as she would any neighbor like Atticus, “…One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them” (31.25-31). She understands now that Boo had been watching her and Jem the whole time, and that he was a true neighbor and was watching over them when they needed him. Though she never sees Boo again after that night, she still thinks of him fondly, as we can tell by her older self's voice in this story. In this, the children’s maturity level has definitely developed and it is evident in their relationship. It might have been a slow sign of maturity growth in this particular situation, but it developed through the nice things Boo had done for them to sow him respect and to be thankful even though its was the first time they’ve met. Many people think that if Boo did wrong than he deserved self-imprisonment, but even when falsely accused and bullied around you need to have determination in helping others.

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parker6307 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 12, 2012 at 6:03 PM (Answer #4)

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Throughout the book, they have no real relationship becuase they've never met. However they have been brought up with stories of Boo Radley, who is compared to a monster. By the end of the novel, they meet Boo and he is almost child-like in his mind due to lack of human contact, this may make him closer to the children as he has a similar mental capacity.

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