To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Boo Radley Prejudice

In "To Kill a Mockingbird" how is Boo Radley discriminated against?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Boo Radley's public identity has been created by the people of Maycomb. However, it is a false identity and by no means an accurate expression of who he really is. He is a local legend, a bogeyman, a shadowy figure constructed out of scraps of gossip and hearsay. Inevitably, then, he is subjected to prejudice and general incomprehension. Because people do not know the real Boo, all they have is the Boo of legend, the scary, weird guy who needs to be hidden away from "respectable" society.

The children also initially participate in the general prejudice toward Boo. They act out what they imagine to be scenes from his life; they creep up to the door of the Radley residence to try to get a glimpse of him. Children can be very cruel, particularly to those who are different in any way, so Boo is an ideal figure for sport. Yet, it is the children who eventually come to see a side of Boo that the adults never get to see. It is instructive that he tries to reach out to

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