Why doesn't Scout recognize Boo Radley when she first sees him? 

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In Chapter 29, Scout recounts her story about Bob Ewell's attack to Sheriff Tate. She admits that she was unable to identify the person who helped them out and said that she thought Atticus had come to save them. When Tate asks Scout who saved them, Scout points to...

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In Chapter 29, Scout recounts her story about Bob Ewell's attack to Sheriff Tate. She admits that she was unable to identify the person who helped them out and said that she thought Atticus had come to save them. When Tate asks Scout who saved them, Scout points to the shy man standing in the corner and says, "Why there he is, Mr. Tate, he can tell you his name” (Lee 165). Scout then looks at the man and notices that he has extremely pale skin which made it seem like he had never seen the sun. Scout then examines his hollow face, thin frame, and gray eyes. Whenever he flashes a timid smile, Scout realizes that she is looking at her neighbor, Arthur Radley. Scout's eyes swell up with tears as she says, "Hey, Boo” (Lee 165).

There are several reasons why Scout did not initially recognize Boo Radley when she first sees him. Boo Radley is the most reclusive individual in the neighborhood, and Scout had never seen what he looked like before. During the struggle, Scout was wearing a cumbersome ham costume which impaired her visibility. Also, it was extremely dark outside which is why she was not able to get a clear look at who saved them. While Boo is quietly standing in the corner of Jem's room, Scout has no idea who he is because she is incapable of identifying a man she has never seen before. Only after noticing his skin and demenour, does Scout realize that she is staring at the reclusive Arthur “Boo” Radley.

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