What did Nathan Radley do that is considered nasty in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Asked on by cohene99

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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I'm not sure that Nathan Radley, Boo's brother, ever does anything in the story that could be considered "nasty." Nathan appears to have been the most normal of the Radleys: He is friendlier and less "foot-washing Baptist" than his father, and he certainly has none of the reclusive peculiarities of Boo. Nathan does anger Jem when he cements the knothole of the Radley oak--deliberately ending any contact between Boo and the children--and then lies about it. Nathan also scares the children when he fires a shotgun blast in the air on the night Jem, Scout and Dill make their raid on the Radley's back porch. Nathan's remarks afterward certainly could be considered racist and mean-spirited and, I guess, even nasty. According to Miss Stephanie, Nathan claims that 

"... if anybody sees a white nigger around, that's the one. Says he's got another barrel waitin' for the next sound he hears... be it dog, nigger or... Jem Finch!"  (Chapter 6)



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