Who is Boo Radley in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Arthur "Boo" Radley is a reclusive citizen of Maycomb who lives in a rather dreary looking home down the road from the Finches. He is a shy individual who unfortunately is the subject of many mean-spirited rumors. Boo's father was a religious fanatic who did not allow Boo to leave the house which severely impacted Boo's social development. The majority of the community is prejudiced towards the Radley family, and any small crime that happens in Maycomb is automatically blamed on Boo. The children of Maycomb fear Boo Radley, and they believe the untrue rumors and legends surrounding his identity. Jem and Dill are fascinated with the idea of seeing the mysterious Boo Radley. They think of various ways to get a look at him, and even create a game that they name "One Man's Family" which is their rendition of what they assume went on in the Radley home.

Initially, Scout fears Boo Radley, but as the novel progresses, she learns that he is a kind individual. Boo communicates with the children by leaving them gifts in the knothole of his tree and even puts a blanket over Scout's shoulders while she is watching Maudie's house burn. At the end of the novel, Boo heroically saves the children from Bob Ewell's attack and carries Jem home. Scout meets Boo for the first time while she is telling Sheriff Tate about the attack. After sitting on the porch with Boo, Scout walks him home. Scout finally gains perspective and views Boo as the compassionate, shy person that he truly is.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question