According to Scout, why does Boo Radley never come out of his house?

Expert Answers

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The author uses Scout to tell the story of Boo Radley to Dill. Scout has gotten her information from a nosy neighbor, Miss Stephanie. Boo was, according to Ms. Stephanie, a rowdy young man who drove backwards around the town and gave the sheriff trouble when he tried to arrest them. Boo's father grounded him severely and would not him leave the house. There is a rumor that Boo stabbed his father in the leg with a pair of scissors, leading to Boo's being locked in the basement of the courthouse. He eventually returned home but is hardly ever seen or heard from.

By using a child to tell this story, and letting the reader know that the information came from a neighborhood gossip, the author is using a literary technique called "the unreliable narrator." The reader is not sure what is true and what is fantasy and rumor. This is a classic way for a writer to create suspense and to foreshadow possible future events.


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