What are five personality traits that describe Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

How about shy, enigmatic, misunderstood, thoughtful, and brave?  Boo is shy because he hides in his home to escape what is sure to be curious (at best) and evil (at worst) torments about his condition.  Ironically, curious children (such as Scout, Jem, and Dill) are the ones who coax Boo out into the real world.  Boo is enigmatic because no one really knows why Boo acts the way he does.  Every strange and horrible activity that Boo participates in is hearsay:  eating domesticated animals, stabbing folks with scissors, and being a general "monster."  It turns out, of course, that Boo is simply misunderstood, never having been given an outlet for his true personality of thoughtfulness and bravery.  Boo begins to prove himself as thoughtful when he leaves gifts for the children.  His thoughtfulness doesn't end there, however.  Boo also fixes Jem's pants, helps keep Scout warm by the fire, and most importantly saves the children from being murdered by Bob Ewell.  It is that last element of thoughtfulness that meanders into the characteristic of bravery.  Anyone would have to be brave to stand up someone like Bob Ewell.  Boo Radley became a brave man at that moment.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial