What To Kill a Mockingbird quotes show Boo Radley is a caring person?

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Boo Radley watches out for the Finch children and even saves their lives.

Boo Radley is a sensitive and reclusive man. His nickname comes from the fact that he never leaves his house. Many neighborhood legends describe him as a monster. This is mostly based on Boo's misspent childhood, where he acted out against his religiously fanatical family.

The first time Boo reaches out to the children to try to make friends, he leaves them gifts in a tree on his property that they pass on the way home from school. The gifts are small things children would appreciate, such as gum, twine, a pocket watch, pennies, and a spelling bee medal. The soap dolls are so accurate that they frighten Scout.

They were almost perfect miniatures of two children. The boy had on shorts, and a shock of soapy hair fell to his eyebrows. I looked up at Jem. A point of straight brown hair kicked downwards from his part. I had never noticed it before. Jem looked from the girl-doll to me. The girl-doll wore bangs. So did I (Chapter 7).

In addition to these gifts, Boo rescues Jem’s pants when he left them behind when escaping the Radley porch. Boo inexpertly sews them up and leaves them for Jem to find so he would not get in trouble. 

They’d been sewed up. Not like a lady sewed ‘em, like somethin’ I’d try to do. All crooked. It’s almost like—”

“—somebody knew you were comin‘ back for ’em” (Chapter 7).

Jem is baffled by this, but it is an example of how considerate and protective Boo is toward the Finch children. 

When Miss Maudie’s house catches fire, Boo sneaks out and puts a blanket on Scout's shoulders. She does not even realize this until Atticus asks her where it came from. Jem knows it was Boo Radley that put it there and begs Atticus not to tell. He does not want to make trouble for Boo. 

“That’s all right, son.” Atticus grinned slowly. “Looks like all of Maycomb was out tonight, in one way or another” (Chapter 8).

Boo’s biggest protective gesture is to save the children from Bob Ewell. He must have been watching Scout and Jem return from the pageant Halloween night. Bob Ewell attacks them, but Boo Radley is there. He protects them and kills Ewell. Because of Boo, Jem only breaks his arm and Scout isn’t badly hurt because she had a thick ham costume on. 

Boo almost never talks when he is at the Finch house.  Atticus and Heck Tate agree to keep what happened secret, telling everyone Bob Ewell was drunk and fell on his knife. Scout walks Boo home, but Atticus makes sure to thank him for saving his children.  

Atticus put his face in my hair and rubbed it. When he got up and walked across the porch into the shadows, his youthful step had returned. Before he went inside the house, he stopped in front of Boo Radley. “Thank you for my children, Arthur,” he said (Chapter 30).

Boo Radley is hardly the monster the children think he is at the beginning of the book. He is a good friend who looks out for Scout and Jem and eventually saves their lives. Scout stands on his porch and feels like she understands what his life is like. He is lonely and shy, and this was the only way he could make friends.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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