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Why was Arthur ( Boo ) Radley originally confined to the house by his father?dont...

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nanettah | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 2, 2012 at 8:54 PM via web

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Why was Arthur ( Boo ) Radley originally confined to the house by his father?

dont expect you's to tell me the whole story about it.. maybe if you's have the book just tell me what page the answer is on.. or just tell me the main points :) thanks you:)

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schulzie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted March 3, 2012 at 1:58 AM (Answer #1)

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Arthur, whom the children call Boo, was a wild teenager.  He was getting into trouble all the time with the group of boys he befriended.  One night they backed around the town square in a  borrowed car, resisted arrest, and locked a member of the church, Mr Conner, in the courthouse outhouse. Because it was such a small town,Mr. Conner was able to identify each boy involved, and the boys were charged with disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, assault and battery, and using abusive language in the presence and hearing of a female.  The judge ruled that the boys should attend a state industrial school.  This was no disgrace, but Boo's father thought it was.  The judge released Boo to his father's custody if Mr. Radley could assure him that Arthur would cause no more trouble.  The other boys went to the industrial school and did well, but Arthur returned to his father's home and was not seen again for fifteen years. 

Then, when Arthur was thirty-three years old,  he was seen again.The children learned of this from Miss Stephanie Crawford. According to Miss Stephanie, Boo was sitting on the living room floor cutting out some articles from the newspaper to paste in his scrapbook.  When his father walked by, he casually stabbed him in his leg with the scissors and then returned to cutting out his articles.  The sheriff arrived but,

".....old Mr. Radley said no Radley was going to any asylum, when it was suggested that a season in Tuscaloosa might be helpful to Boo.  Boo wasn't crazy, he was high-strung at times" (pg 11)

The sheriff wouldn't lock Arthur up with the Negroes, so he locked him in the courthouse basement.  The town council finally told Mr. Radley that,

"...if he didn't take Boo back, Boo would die of mold from the damp.  Besides, Boo could not live forever on the bounty of the county." (pg 11)

So, Boo was moved back home and never seen again.  Everyone thought that when Mr. Radley died, Boo would come out again,but he was never seen.

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robbieburke | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 2, 2012 at 10:31 PM (Answer #2)

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This is a bit complex.  There isn't really a page that tells you; you have to have an understanding of the time, the culture of the south at that time, and Mr. Radley's religious conviction.  Boo's confinement is a combination of several events in his life which culminated in him actually being incarcerated.  There is an element of pride and privacy involved.  You really should read the book.  It is one of the best.

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