What is the most important thing about Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

    Although Boo Radley only appears for a short time in Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, he is nevertheless one of the primary focal points of the story. He serves many purposes in the novel: He is the town ghoul; he is the most gossiped-about character in Maycomb; he is the man who keeps Jem, Scout and Dill entertained during the summer months as they try to discover a way to lure him from the house or, at the very least, get a look at him. But most importantly, Boo is their protector, even finding a way to help out the Finch children without showing himself by mending Jem's pants when he loses them in the collard patch and warming Scout with a blanket on the night of the fire.
    Inevitably, Boo's most important role is as the saviour to the two children in Chapter 29, when he saves them from the murderous hands of Bob Ewell. By coming to their rescue, he visibly shows his courage and heroism to the kids who have always referred to him as Boo. He has long kept an eye on them, leaving them gifts and watching from the darkened Radley home, and when they need him most, Boo is there. Or, as Scout calls him thereafter, "Mr. Arthur."

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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