Boo Radley Quotes

What are three good quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird that show what other people think of Boo Radley?

One quote in To Kill a Mockingbird that shows what other characters think of Boo Radley is when Scout describes Boo as "about six-and-a-half feet tall" with "a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten, his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time."

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An additional quotation that shows what people think about Boo Radley comes from Scout's reference to what Stephanie Crawford, the town gossip, has said about him. According to her,

Boo was sitting in the living room cutting some items from The Maycomb Tribune to paste in his scrapbook. His father entered the room. As Mr. Radley passed by, Boo drove the scissors into his parent's leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activities. (p.15)

This is pretty much the standard picture of Boo Radley in Maycomb. Just about everyone in town regards him as some kind of monster, a scary boogie-man who belongs in an institution. But according to Miss Stephanie, Mr. Radley insisted that no Radley was ever going to any asylum.

Scout, Jem, and Dill decide to play the "Boo Radley Game," in which the children act out imagined scenes from Boo's home life. In one such game, they imagine that Mrs. Radley had been beautiful until she married Boo's father. As well as losing most of her teeth and hair, she also lost her right forefinger. Apparently, this is because

Boo bit it off one night when he couldn't find any cats and squirrels to eat. (p.44)

During the trial of Tom Robinson, when Mayella Ewell takes the witness stand, Scout observes that

she must have been the loneliest person in the world. She was even lonelier than Boo Radley, who had not been out of the house in twenty-five years. (p.196)

As this comment clearly indicates, Boo Radley is not just regarded by the people of Maycomb as mad, evil, and dangerous to know, but also the epitome of loneliness. The idea that Boo Radley may have perfectly good reasons for not venturing outside his home in a quarter of a century never seems to occur to them. They simply imagine Boo cooped up inside that house for all those years and automatically make the assumption that he's lonely.

Once again, we see here an example of someone making a judgment about Boo without really knowing him or anything about his life.

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First quote:

The Radleys, welcome anywhere in town, kept to themselves, a predilection unforgivable in Maycomb. (9)

Second quote:    

   "Do you think they're true, all those things they say about B--Mr. Arthur?"

    "What things?"

    I told her.

    "That is three-fourths colored folks and one-fourth Stephanie Crawford," said Miss Maudie grimly. "Stephanie Crawford even told me once she woke up in the middle of the night and found him looking in the window at her. I said what did you do, Stephanie, move over in the bed and make room for him? That shut her up a while." (45)

Third quote:

Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom. People said he existed, but Jem and I had never seen him. People said he went out at night when the moon was down, and peeped in windows. When people's azaleas froze in a cold snap, it was because he had breathed on them. Any stealthy small crimes committed in Maycomb were his work. Once the town was terrorized by a series of morbid nocturnal events: people's chickens and household pets were found mutilated; although the culprit was Crazy Addie, who eventually drowned himself in Barker's Edd, people still looked at the Radley Place, unwilling to discard their initial suspicions. (9)

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"He was still leaning against the wall.  He had been leaning against the wall when I came into the room, his arms down and across his chest.  As I pointed he brought his arms down and pressed the palms of his hands agains the wall.  They were white hands, sickly white hands that had never seen the sun, so white they stood out garishly against the dull cream wall in the dim light of Jem's room...His face was as white as his hands, but for a shadow on his jutting chin.  His cheeks were thin to hollowness; his mouth was wide; there were shallow, almost delicate indentations at his temples, and his gray eyes were so colorless I thought he was blind....as I gazed at him in wonder the tension slowly drained from his face.  His lips parted into a timid smile, and our neighbor's image blurred with my sudden tears." [Lee 270]  (This is when Scout begins to understand and accept Boo as a neighbor and friend, rather than just as a character in a ghost story.)

"'Mr. Arthur, bend your arm down here, like that.  That's right, sir.'  I slipped my hand into the crook of his arm.  He had to stoop a little to accomodate me, but if Miss Stephanie Crawford was watching from her upstairs window, she would see Arthur Radley escorting me down the sidwalk, as any gentleman would do." [Lee 278]  (He has ceased to be Boo.  Instead he has achieved full personhood.)

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Here are two good ones; hope they help you out!

"Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that's why his hands were bloodstained -- if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten, his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time." (Lee 13)

"Every night sound I heard from my cot on the back porch was magnified three-fold; every scratch of feet on gravel was Boo Radley seeking revenge, every passing Negro laughing in the night was Boo Radley loose and after us; insects splashing against the screen were Boo Radley's insane fingers picking the wire to pieces..." (Lee 55)

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