To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How does Boo Radley develop the theme of To Kill A Mockingbird? This kind of character, who rarely appears but is referred to by others and helps develop the theme, is featured in many books.

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,376 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

The character of Boo Radley helps to develop To Kill a Mockingbird as a coming-of-age story. Over time, the Finch children's interaction with him represents the successive stages of their maturation.

At first, Scout and Jem, being the young children that they are, see Boo as nothing more than a creepy boogie-man figure, an object of grim fascination. As they don't really seem him as a human being, they're not prepared to get to know him as one. Instead, they dehumanize him by making him a bit player in their little games.

As time goes by, however, and as Scout and Jem mature, their attitude towards Boo gradually changes. Boo is a catalyst in this regard, reaching out to the Finch children by leaving them little keepsakes in the knot of a tree. Scout and Jem respond by looking at Boo in a completely different way. Although they're still not quite sure what to make of him, at least they've now put behind them the frankly insulting Boo Radley game.

It won't be until much later on in the story that...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 855 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,217 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,967 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial