How can I write a monologue impersonating a marginalized character, here Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm supposed to explore gaps and silences relating to significant events in the book...

How can I write a monologue impersonating a marginalized character, here Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm supposed to explore gaps and silences relating to significant events in the book and incorporate language, setting and ideologies that match the character.

Basically, I have to write about his thoughts after he kills Bob Ewell and include his personal dialogue. I could really use some ideas!

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jenx1128's profile pic

jenx1128 | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Hi, there!

For most of the story's main events, Boo was actually there, but no one saw him. Rather, we see the evidence of his presence - Jem's pants neatly folded on the fence, a mysterious blanket around Scout's shoulders, and such.

So, when portraying Boo, be sure to have the image of wanting to help but being more content helping from the shadows. The rumor mill filled when it came to Boo because people so rarely (if ever) saw him, so they made up their own ideas about him. Atticus and the other adults who are with Jem and Scout after the attack are well aware of this, and this is why they decide to leave Boo out of the attack story - they know people would jump to conclusions about Boo, assuming he attacked because he's crazy, not because he was saving the children's lives.

Boo's monologue would seem more like thoughts of a sweet and strong child - nervous at the thought of disappointing anyone but excited at the opportunity to "play" with other children. Jem and Scout are his only friends, and, like many children, he wants to protect them and their friendship. They're the only ones who have shown positive interest in him - the only ones who haven't assumed he's dangerous. So, when there's a fire, he wants to keep Scout warm and comfortable. When there are shots fired, he wants Jem to be safe and not get in trouble for losing his pants. And, most importantly, when Bob Ewell attacks his only friends, he does what he has to in order to stop his friends from getting hurt, even if it means coming out of his comfort zone and stepping into the light. They are more important to him than his own fears.

Hope this helped!

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In developing monologues for Boo Radley, the student may wish to create interior monologues rather than outwardly verbal ones—that is, the expression of Boo's passing thoughts, which can take the form of free associations or fully-constructed sentences. With Boo, I would imagine that many of his thoughts might be rather disassociated phrases, incorporating reflections on the times he may peep out his windows and watch the children, or when he watched his brother cement the knot in the tree where he put little gifts.

After Boo sees that the children are in danger as they make their way home in their costumes, he probably has some thoughts run through his head before he races out of his house to save Scout and Jem. These could be written in a stream of consciousness manner:

"What is that noise? That sounds like Jem and Scout! But, where? What? ...Some man ....Got to stop him...got to stop HIM! My friends are in danger!"

(Then, you can describe his thoughts as he grabs a knife, rushes out, and jumps on Bob Ewell.)

Afterwards, Boo's thoughts would probably be focused on the children.

"My friends! my friends! ooohh Jem is hurt." (He would mainly be focused on Jem's being taken care of and Scout's safety.)

Another focus would be when he is brought into the Finch house. He would be apprehensive about his own safety and worried about Jem. ("Will I be arrested? What will Nathan do to me?") His thoughts would be disjointed as he would vacillate between his anxiety about his exposure and personal security, and whether he will be arrested again ("What is this big sheriff going to do with me?"). He might also worry about being in trouble with his brother Nathan, and Jem's safety. 

Sources:

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