in to kill a mockingbird explain how harper lee uses boo radley and mrs dubose to develope the idea that people arent always what they seem.

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Jen Sambdman eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Both Boo and Mrs. Dubose are hated and feared by the children in the neighborhood. Most children have grown up with "that creepy man/woman" in the neiborhood that they fear or make fun of. Inherently, we as a species fear what we do not know or understand, especially as children. Both characters were recluses with a lot of mystery surrounding them. Boo was fear of the unknown and it was fueled solely on rumors the children passed around based on hearsay. Mrs. Dubose on the otherhand, fueled the children's hatred of her by being a bitter old woman. The children did not know of Boo and Dubose's problems that caused them to appear that way in the eyes of the children. When Harper Lee lets the kids see what was REALLY going on with Boo and Dubose's, it really makes not only the kids stop and think, but the reader as well. Most readers will do a second look at the weird guy in their building, or that strange lady down the street and wonder if there isn't something they don't know about that could attribute to their irrational fear.
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To Kill a Mockingbird

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