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Why is Boo Radley so important to the children in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?How...

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kis-sy | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 17, 2008 at 9:19 PM via web

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Why is Boo Radley so important to the children in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

How the children learn about life and people through boo radley. how they get communication?

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jeff-hauge | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted May 17, 2008 at 11:04 PM (Answer #1)

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It is obvious that the children do not look upon Boo as a person desrving respect but instead as a convenient prop to manipulate in their cruel puppet theater. They objectify Boo, using him as a blank canvas upon which to project their own personal insecurites. Just as the town of Maycomb ostracizes the black community as a scapegoat for whatever social ills they perceive, the children use Boo as a neighborhood boogie-man. The final ac tof kindness shown by Boo bursts this image for the children. It would be best to read the book.

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harrisonc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted May 18, 2008 at 12:27 AM (Answer #2)

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"Why is Boo Radley so important to the children?" Boo Radley's importance to the children changes as their perspectives change. In the beginning, he is an object to be awed and feared, like the "boogie man" or the "monster under the bed". As he communicates with him through his gifts in knot hole of the tree, he becomes more of a mystery then and object of fear. At the end of the novel, he is their savior, unwilling to let anything hurt them. As their eyes are opened by the trial of Tom Robinson, they are able to accept Boo as he is and view the world through his eyes. This is signified at the end of the novel by Scout's account of the world when she stands on Boo's porch.  

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

Posted May 19, 2008 at 4:02 AM (Answer #3)

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Boo Radley represents a mystery to the children and thereby becomes a point of interest and a fuel source for their innocent imaginations to run wild with.  He becomes the "ghost story" that is changed again and again upon the telling of it.  It is even more alluring to the children because they are forbidden or kept from information about Boo by the adults in their lives, which makes him all the more intriguing. 

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afroman4073 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 3, 2008 at 9:17 AM (Answer #4)

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um the children find boo radley so important in the book because the children find him him interesting and they are curious why he never comes out of his house. They try to get him to come out throughout the entire book just to see what he looks like. They think that he is a mean and scary person, until during the fire scene, he comes out without scout or jem knowing and places the blanket on them to keep them warm. They didnt even know he did it until Atticus told them. They then thought a little different about Boo i think. He was a good man and they just wanted to see that themselves

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