What is one really important setting in the book To Kill A Mockingbird?
It is hard to choose just one setting, but since you asked for one I will suggest the Radley place. One of the reasons I chose this setting is that it is metaphorical. It represents growing up.
Scout is obsessed with the Radley place and Boo Radley from the time she is young. Scout states that the “Radley Place was inhabited by an unknown entity the mere description of whom was enough to make us behave for days on end” (ch 1). The Radley place is synonymous with mystery and danger, just like growing up.
The Radley place is rotted and its inhabitants are cruel. Boo Radley has been a prisoner in the house and a victim of harsh rumors for years. Throughout the book, we see Radley begin to interact with the children. He leaves them gifts in the tree, puts a blanket around Scout’s shoulders, and mends Jem’s pants. Slowly, Boo becomes more than a legend.
Boo Radley accomplishes two things for Scout and for the story. He is a living symbol of tortured innocence. The prejudice he faces provides contrast for Tom Robinson’s fate. In the end, Boo saves the children from the murderous Bob Ewell and becomes a human being. Scout walks him home, and realizes that the Radley place looks different from this angle. Her new attitude toward Boo and the Radley place are representative of her newfound maturity.
Read chapter 1 here: