Why is Mrs. Radley rarely seen outside?

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The members of the Radley family are outcasts in the small community of Maycomb because they rarely leave their home or socialize with their neighbors. In chapter 5, Miss Maudie tells Scout that Mr. Radley is a foot-washing Baptist who believes that women are a sin by nature. Mr. Radley and his wife are religious fanatics, and they have no desire to leave their home to attend community functions or interact with others. One can surmise that Mr. Radley more than likely influences his wife's decision to leave the home. Mrs. Radley may be under the same authoritative control as her son, Arthur "Boo" Radley, who also cannot leave his home. Given Mr. Radley's strict, callous personality, he may demand that his wife stay indoors and follow his directives. These harsh character traits are typical of religious fanatics.

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In the beginning of Chapter 8, Mrs. Radley dies of natural causes during the winter. Scout says that her death caused “hardly a ripple” because the neighborhood barely saw her. The only time people saw Mrs. Radley was when she watered her cannas. (8.85) The Radleys were "foot-washing Baptists" who believed that anything that is pleasure is a sin. They were a reclusive family that rarely left the confines of their house. Unlike the other members in the Maycomb community, the Radleys never socialized with their neighbors. In Chapter 1, Scout says that Mrs. Radley rarely crossed the street for a mid-morning coffee break with her neighbors, and never joined a missionary circle. In the small town of Maycomb it was commonplace to socialize with neighbors and visit each other. The Radleys, however, preferred to stay secluded in their house.

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