In To Kill a Mockingbird why has Arthur Radley stayed inside his house for the last three years?

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mrwickline eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Arthur “Boo” Radley is the reclusive neighbor and focal point of rumors in Maycomb County. Boo had a rough childhood living under the roof of a controlling, religious fanatic. Boo’s father confined him to the house after he resisted arrest for youthful pranks as a child. When Boo’s father died, his brother, Nathan, returned home to look after Boo.  After the Tom Robinson trial, Jem and Scout begin to understand why Boo stays inside the house all the time. Jem says, “Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time... it's because he wants to stay inside." Boo is another “mockingbird”, an innocent character, depicted throughout the novel that reacts adversely to an unforgiving society. Boo becomes reclusive to avoid the harsh reality of the darker side of humanity, which is evident in Maycomb’s prejudice community.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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