What are some stories that were told about Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 1, Scout recounts some of the stories that are told about her reclusive neighbor, Boo Radley. She comments that citizens of Maycomb claim that he sneaks out during night and peeps into people's windows. Boo also gets the blame for whenever people's azaleas freeze because they say that he breathes on them. Scout mentions that pretty much any small crime committed in Maycomb is blamed on Boo Radley. Scout also tells the story of when Boo was younger, and he got into trouble with the Cunningham family by locking Mr. Conner in an outhouse. Instead of being sent to the state industrial school as punishment, Boo's father told the judge that Boo wouldn't cause further trouble and was released into his custody. Miss Stephanie Crawford also told Jem that Boo stabbed his father in the leg with scissors while he was cutting out items from The Maycomb Tribune for his scrapbook. Following the incident, the Radley's refused to send Boo to an asylum and instead chose to lock him in the courthouse basement before he eventually returned home.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jem and Scout got most of their stories from from Miss Stephanie Crawford. Among them:

  • Boo peeped in windows at night.
  • He breathed on azaleas during cold snaps, causing them to die.
  • He was accused of killing and mutilating animals.
  • He poisoned the pecans that grew in his back yard but fell in the schoolyard.
  • He was accused of unsolved "stealthy" crimes.
  • He joined other boys in stealing Mr. Conner's "flivver," and locking him in the courthouse outhouse.
  • He was charged with disorderly conduct, disturbing the police, assault and battery, and using abusive language in the presence of a female.
  • He stabbed his father in the leg with scissors.
  • He mended Jem's pants after he lost them on the Radley fence.
  • He put a blanket around Scout's shoulders on the night of Miss Maudie's house fire.
  • He left presents for Jem and Scout in the knothole of the tree.
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To Kill a Mockingbird

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