How does Boo show courage in To Kill a Mockingbird? Explain with text evidence, quotes and page numbers.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Once feared by Jem and Scout, Boo Radley becomes the hero of the novel by its final pages, saving the children from the murderous hands of Bob Ewell. It is obvious that Boo has been keeping watch on the children for years--peeking out his own window as they played in the street and possibly even peeping in their windows at night to see if they are safe. On the Halloween night when Jem and Scout return home from the pageant, Boo must have been watching after them, coming to their rescue and killing Bob. Boo then carried the unconscious Jem home to the safety of the Finch house. Boo's courage on this night cannot be questioned. He took on a physically fit (though probably inebriated), knife-wielding man when he could have remained silent behind the walls of the Radley house. Boo risks his own life fighting Bob, a decision that ultimately puts his own precious privacy at risk.

... his (Bob's) arms were like steel. He slowly squeezed the breath out of me. I could not breathe. Suddenly, he was jerked backward and flung on the ground.  (Chapter 28, p. 262)

Atticus pays Boo the highest compliment possible when he stands face to face and tells him

"Thank you for my children, Arthur."  (Chapter 30, p. 276)

Scout never saw Boo again after that night, but she would never forget him. Boo "gave us... our lives."


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