Which details of the narrative in Chapter 1 of To Kill a Mockingbird hint that Arthur Radley, whom the children imagine as a monster, has himself been a victim of abuse?Any quotes from Chapter 1...

Which details of the narrative in Chapter 1 of To Kill a Mockingbird hint that Arthur Radley, whom the children imagine as a monster, has himself been a victim of abuse?

Any quotes from Chapter 1 to back up this response would be useful. Thank you!

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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It is obvious that the ultra-strict Mr. Radley took severe actions against his son after Boo was arrested for disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace while hanging out with the Cunningham boys. While the Cunninghams were sent to "the state industrial school" where they "received the best secondary education to be had in the state," young Arthur was released to his father's custody.

The doors of the Radley house were closed on weekdays as well as Sundays, and Mr. Radley's boy was not seen again for fifteen years.  (Chapter 1)

Mr. Radley apparently sentenced his son to an extreme form of house arrest, where Boo's mental and emotional state must have deteriorated dramatically. Boo was next seen when he was taken to jail for stabbing his father with a pair of scissors, but Mr. Radley again secured Boo's custody within the Radley House--claiming that "no Radley was going to any asylum"--and the 33 year old Boo was not seen again. Instead of showing any emotion for stabbing his father, Boo was found "sitting in the living room, cutting up the Tribune.

     Nobody knew what form of intimidation Mr. Radley employed to keep Boo out of sight, but Jem figured that Mr. Radley kept him chained to the bed most of the time.  (Chapter 1)

Even after the death of both Mr. and Mrs. Radley, Boo did not appear from within the Radley House, as Scout expected. Instead, Boo's brother, Nathan, was summoned from Pensacola to look after Boo, and the rumors and gossip about Boo continued to grow.

Sources:

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