Can someone give three quotes from Chapter 1 of To Kill a Mockingbird about Boo Radley's perceived physical appearance or habits?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here are three quotes from Chapter 1 about what Scout and Jem believe is Boo's physical appearance and what they think are his habits:

"People said he [Boo] went out when the moon was down, and peeped in windows. When people's azaleas froze in a cold snap, it was because he had breathed on them. Any small crimes committed in Maycomb were his work."

"The Radleys, welcome anywhere in town, kept to themselves, a predilection unforgivable in Maycomb. They did not go to church, Maycomb's principal recreation, but worshiped at home."

"Boo wasn't crazy, he was high strung at times."

Boo is a figure of mystery and misunderstanding, and because he is different from other people in Maycomb, he becomes a kind of scapegoat. He is blamed for everyday happenings that are not his fault, such as flowers freezing in the cold. As he and his family keep to themselves, perhaps fearing that the townspeople wouldn't understand Boo, they become figures of even greater mystery. The town doesn't understand why they isolate themselves and act unsociably, even on Sundays--the traditional day for paying calls. Boo is described as "high strung" after he allegedly stabbed his father with some scissors; in reality, he is a kind man. It takes the entire book for Scout and Jem to realize how giving and wonderful Boo truly is.

troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The best description of Boo is near the end of the chapter.  It says he was

"...six and a half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch.  There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time."

Then to show his habits, Jem described to Dill what he was known for in town.  The first quote tells of Boo's nightly activities. 

"People said he went out at night when the moon was down, and peeped in windows.  When people's azaleas froze in a cold snap, it was because he had breathed on them. Any small crimes committed in Maycomb were his work."

Then Jem continues on to share what he learned from Miss Stephanie about what Boo did one day at home.

"Boo was sitting in the living room cutting some items from The Maycomb Tribuneto past in his scrapbook.  As Mr. Radley passed by, Boo drove the scissors into his parent's leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activities."

These quotes all show the town's ignorance and their superstitions of the town recluse.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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