Boo Radley, an enigmatic character in To Kill a Mockingbird is an interesting man to behold. Standing six and a half feet tall with a scar traversing his face, Boo has an intimidating appearance. Boo has an infamous reputation; as a mutilator of domestic house pets, as a drooling stalker that supposedly peered in neighborhood windows in the dead of the night, and for having halitosis that purportedly would wilt a flower. Although nearly no one had ever seen this “town lunatic”, rumors spread like wildfire about his personality quirks and disheveled appearance. Boo has decayed yellow teeth. Allegedly, this mystery man’s pecan tree was poisonous and his mouth is tainted with the blood of cats and chickens that he had tortured. Tortured was often used in describing Boo, but rumors and innuendo are more fiction than fact. For instance, Boo Radley was an alias used to hide his real name, “Arthur”. Growing up as a troubled teen, Boo was part of a gang that was eventually caught for swearing in front of women. The juvenile delinquents were tried and sentenced to industrial school. With a religious and legalistic upbringing, Boo’s father refused to allow Boo to go to industrial school and instead took him home. Incarcerated in the house for years, the prisoner never received a chance to go outside. He was trapped. At age thirty-five the psychologically scarred adult stabbed his father in the leg with scissors. This incident proved to be the final straw for his father and the courts. Arthur was jailed in the basement of the County Courthouse for a short time. Eventually, your past will catch up with you, and Arthur’s did. Only time will tell what becomes of Boo.
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