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

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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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To Kill a Mockingbird

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