Boo RadleyLets hope on a topic about Boo Radley how do you think about Boo Radleys Life was go and be inside there shoes or in the book be inside there skin.

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e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Athur "Boo" Radley is misunderstood by his community. The rumors that Scout and Jem discuss through the early parts of the novel make this fact very clear. However, Boo Radley is not a monster and he is not crazy. Scout and Jem realize this long before they meet him. Radley is, instead, simply misunderstood. 

He has made an unconventional choice to be different and literally set apart from his community. Atticus makes a similar choice, figuratively, in his decision to energetically defend Tom Robinson in court.

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Surely Arthur "Boo" Radley is one of the saddest characters in literature.  The story of Arthur, according to Scout, is thus:  he and some other teenaged boys got in trouble for some pranks and were sent before a judge.  The other boys were sent away to a school for wayward youth where they got a pretty good education, but Arthur's father promised the judge that if he (the judge) released Arthur to his father's custody, Arthur would never cause trouble again.  True to his word, Arthur was confined from then on to his home by his father.  According to Miss Maudie, Arthur was a pleasant and respectful young man prior to these events; Atticus tells Scout on another occasion, on the subject of the Radleys, that "there were other ways of making people into ghosts".  When Arthur's father died, Calpurnia, the Finch's cook, refers to the old man as "the meanest man God ever blew breath into," surprising especially because, in Scout's words, "Calpurnia rarely commented on the ways of white people". 

Arthur/Boo's affection for Scout and Jem is evident throughout the novel.  He leaves them little presents in the beginning, and he saves their lives in the end.  Scout commented that it made her sad that she and Jem had given him nothing in return, but one might argue that in a way, Scout and Jem had given Boo the only kind of relationship he could mentally handle, a friendship developed from afar.  It is a testament to Boo's fragile state, and Atticus's compassionate nature that Atticus agreed to go along with the story of Ewell falling on the knife.  Even Atticus knew that in this case, to insist on the absolute truth of the event, detail for detail, would probably cast Arthur as a hero and expose him to attention and scrutiny which he was in no way prepared to deal with. 

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Boo Radley's father was a hard man. We don't know much about Arthur Boo Radley's home life, except that his parents were "foot-washing baptists" (ch 5). Something definitely caused Arthur to attack his father with those scissors. Children often go with the wrong crowd out of rebellion at over-bearing home lives. I feel sorry for Boo. He was trapped, figuratively and then literally. As a result, Boo is "misunderstood by the rest of the town" (enotes character analysis). It's clear that he is actually a gentle, caring person. Read a description here: http://www.enotes.com/to-kill-a-mockingbird/character-analysis
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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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I think Boo was forcibly restrained inside the Radley house by his father--at least for a while. After old Mr. Radley died, people expected Boo to reappear, but by this time Boo must have felt the world inside his house was better--and safer--than the one outside in Maycomb, where he was considered an outcast and a ghoul.

shake99's profile pic

shake99 | Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Boo Radley obviously had a difficult life. He suffered through several hard experiences when he was young and then stayed shut up in a house for many years. Jem learned to consider life in Boo's "skin" when he said that he didn't blame Boo for wanting to stay inside for so long--the outside world was just to difficult to deal with.

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

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I think that Boo stayed inside, not because he felt it was right but because he was affraid of what everyone would think of him, considering the fact that he has been missing from the community for over 15 years and the story's have only gotten wilder. 

 

tpauli's profile pic

tpauli | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

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Boo Radley obviously had a difficult life. He suffered through several hard experiences when he was young and then stayed shut up in a house for many years. Jem learned to consider life in Boo's "skin" when he said that he didn't blame Boo for wanting to stay inside for so long--the outside world was just to difficult to deal with.

good Idea mwalter822 I am reading the book right know

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