Who are the Radleys? What do their house and yard look like?

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mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Radley family lived in Maycomb on the same street as Jem and Scout. Mr. and Mrs. Radley had two sons and were not sociable around town. Scout wondered what Mr. Radley did for a job. Their oldest son moved to Pensacola. Their other son, Arthur, got into trouble as a young man. Over the years, a string of rumors developed about him. He never seemed to leave the house. The Radley house stood out on a street full of well-maintained homes. It also stood in a unique location on the street:

The Radley Place jutted into a sharp curve beyond our house (Chapter 1).

The house used to be cared for well. It was a low house. It used to have a whitewashed front porch, but time and neglect turned the paint on the porch gray. The shutters on the house were green, and they always stayed closed. The Radleys never left their front door open on Sundays. This was an oddity in friendly Maycomb. Atticus could remember a time, long ago, when they had screen doors. The house itself looked almost abandoned:

Rain-rotted shingles drooped over the eaves of the veranda; oak trees kept the sun away.  The remains of a picket drunkenly guarded the front yard—a "swept" yard that was never swept—where johnson grass and rabbit-tobacco grew in abundance.

The backyard of the house bordered the school property. The Radleys kept chickens and had pecan trees. They also had a vegetable garden full of collards and other foods.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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