Who is Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird and how does he end up with such a strange reputation in Maycomb?

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renelane's profile pic

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Boo Radley is the town recluse and the object of a lot of scrutiny and gossip. He is a main curiosity for the town's children, especially Jem and Scout, because of the rumors and mystery surrounding him.

His confinement and seclusion  began when as a young boy, he and some others got into some trouble with the law. His father was enraged and ordered him to stay in the house. As the years went by, the mystery and oddity of never seeing him caused the gossip to escalate and soon Boo Radley had taken on an almost monstrous persona.

Boo is actually a kind and caring man. He attempts to please the children by leaving them gifts, mending Jem's torn pants, and wrapping Scout in a blanket on the night of the fire. He does not expect anything for his kindness. His ultimate gift cam when he risked his own safety by coming to Jem and Scout's defense against Ewell. He was willing to face the consequences for killing him, as well as more public scrutiny, for the sake of the children.

itswindy's profile pic

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Arthur “Boo” Radley is the town recluse, and the target of a lot of scrutiny and gossip, particularly with the children of Maycomb. His confinement and seclusion began when as a young boy, he and some others got into some trouble with the law when they decided to pull a prank. His strict father was enraged and ordered him to stay in the house. Later, in his thirties, Boo attack his father with a pair of scissors. However, his family is opposed to sending him away for psychiatric help, and he continues to stay at home. Eventually when his father dies, he becomes the ward of his brother Nathan Radley who also keeps Boo locked up in the family home. As the years went by, the mystery and oddity of never seeing him caused the gossip to escalate and soon Boo Radley had become known as a monster.  Boo is actually a kind and caring man. He attempts to please the children by leaving them gifts, mending Jem's torn pants, and wrapping Scout in a blanket on the night of the fire. He does not expect anything for his kindness. His ultimate gift came when he risked his own safety by coming to Jem and Scout's defense against Bob Ewell. He was willing to face the consequences for killing him, as well as more public scrutiny, for the sake of the Finch children. In the end, Arthur proves himself a hero. So while the audience thinks he is a horrific being, we learn that he is falsely characterized, comparable to his intentions.

this is some of the above answers, mixed with a few words of my own.

Sources:
wescarlyon337's profile pic

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boo is a real gentleman.  You never really realise his kindness until later on

cancer16's profile pic

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boo is the town gossip until we see for ourselves that boo is just s boy who never really got to live...

vwhite98's profile pic

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Boo Rdley is Mr.Radleys son nd the story goes round saying tht he stabed his dad in the leg with scissors hen he as a kid.

peppertdog's profile pic

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Boo Radley is man who lives down the street from Jem and Scout Finch. (The main characters.) Boo Radley stays shut up inside his house and only comes out at night. People have reported looking outside their window and seeing Boo looking in. Towards the end of the book he comes out and saves Scout and Jem from being attack by Mr. Ewell.

 

lv1997's profile pic

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Arthur Radley "Boo" is a main curiosity for citizens of Maycomb. His father forced him to stay indoors after getting in trouble with the law. He is antisocial and communicates with the children through the knot-hole in the tree.

mik3l's profile pic

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in simple terms boo is a misunderstood chracter in the story. and the reason for this is the story of boo stabbing mr.radley in the leg.

billyblanken's profile pic

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Boo Radley is a character that has many rumors about him. some of the rumors are he stabbed his father and thats why he never comes out of his house. but one night while scout and jem are going to a party mr ewell tries to kill scout and jem but boo kills mr ewell and carries jems unconcoius body to the finch residence

kimng2's profile pic

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Many rumours were spread about Arthur "Boo" Radley, such that he keeps dead squirrels in his house, and that he will blow on flowers and the flowers will freeze. However, Boo treats Scout and Jem Finch as his only friends and leaves gifts for them at the tree near the Radley's house (Double Mint Wrigley Gum was one of the gifts). Also, after Tom stated to Atticus that he will "get his revenge", he tried to kill Scout and Jem but was saved by Boo Radley. Jem injured his arm (fore-shadowing from first page of the book) and Boo helped them out.

 

Hope this helped. :D

chiechiey's profile pic

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Boo Radley is Mr Radley's son who never came out of the house because his father wouldn't let him out as a punishment.In Scout's view she discribes him as a "malevolent phantom".He has a bad reputation because Staphanie Crawford, the town's gossip always tells rumours which noone knows if they are real or not.She tells the children rumours about Boo Radley.

amandajoy1874's profile pic

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Boo is the character that Harper Lee claims to be most like. I infer that she doesn't necessarily mean that she is a mockingbird, robbed of innocence, but instead she is a recluse for reasons none of her fans know.
melaniebaxter's profile pic

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Boo Radley was the antisocial Person that lived in The Town of Maycomb, people Thought wrong about him because he was never around (rumors. e.tc) later on in the story boo radley shows his true colors, he shows that he is a good person by helping out jem and scout when ewell tried to attack them. Jem had hurt his arm so boo radley had helped jem on the way home. When that scene had occured i feel that everyone looked at him as a different person, (in a good way), in the movie you can see how surprised scout face was when she had seen boo radley come out and help them out :)

princessita-2-day's profile pic

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Boo is the person who saved Jem after the halloween party when Scout and Jem were walking home when Ewell tried to hurt Scout and Jem but instead hurt Jem's arm when scout was helpless and Boo helped her bring him home

vnguy41's profile pic

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Boo Radley is the town's recluse. He is considered a "mockingbird". In the beginning of the book, he was a source of Dill, Scout, and Jem's fascination because he was rumored to be an evil phantom. As Scout and Jem grow and mature they see him as a friendly neighbor. Boo Radley eventually saves Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell.

marwanj's profile pic

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He is a boy that was accused by the judge of cursing and was sent to Judy.his father helped him stay out of prison by giving his word to the judge and keeping him in his home.The father dies and his older brother comes to take care of him .He had a bad reputation of being mentally unstable and that is for being in that house and not coming out of his home.People discussed many rumors that later seemed to be completely false.He is a mocking bird.An innocent man accused of something he didn't do.(he didn't kill his father)

damaster97as's profile pic

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He is a town recluse that was a good kid untill he was punished by his father. There are many rumors about him.

captbullett's profile pic

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Boo Radley was the town recluse and Jean louise Finch (Scout), and her brother Jeremy Finch (Jem), keep dearring each other trying to make him come out of his house. (page,3) Harper Lee

"Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out." (page 3)

"When I went back for my breeches -- they were all tangle when i was gettin' out of 'em, I could't get 'em loose. When I whent back, they were folded across the fence... like they were expectin' me."(page. 56)Harper Lee

 

mjaaaz's profile pic

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Because he is very antisocial, which is very peculiar in Maycomb- where everybody knows everybody, and each others business. He is isolated. Maycomb people, like the ladies in the Missionary Circle wouldn't stay isolated, because they would be deemed at 'freaks' and their social status would decrease

jamieerenee's profile pic

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Boo Radley is the person who leaves the gifts in the tree hole and saves the children at the end. he has a strange rep because he always stays inside and people talk about him.

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