Boo Radley- a Vital Part of to Kill a Mockingbird

Topics: Character, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee Pages: 2 (637 words) Published: April 2, 2008
Arthur “Boo” Radley seems to be a minor character, but when his role in the novel is closely looked at, we notice that he plays a vital part of the story. Much of the plot-line, thematic implications, and morally-based symbols are based on him. Note that he is used to develop two of the the main themes, and is crucial in the development of the main character, not to mention that he is a prominent figure at the beginning and at the end of the novel. The first theme that Arthur is involved with about judging a person before walking in their shoes. “Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough”(Lee, 279). This is quoted from Scout, and was said after Boo Radley saved them from Bob Ewell’s stabbing attempt. Scout realizes that she never should have judged Boo the way that she did, because she had no clue of what he was really like.The second theme that Arthur is used to portray is that of killing a mockingbird. Again, after Boo saves the children, Scout says, “Well, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it”(Lee, 276). She is referring to whether they should report the incident, which would result in Boo being charged with murder. He metaphorically compares Boo to a mockingbird, an innocent being, , that causes no harm. Because of this, it would be a sin to kill or harm one. In both of these themes that were just demonstrated, Boo Radley was the backbone of their delivery. Jem, Scout, and Dill spend much of their summer days re-enacting scenes that have been gossiped about in Maycomb. “It was a melancholy drama; woven from bits and scraps of gossip and neighbourhood legend.” (Lee, 39) Scenes of Boo allegedly stabbing his father, looking into Ms. Crawford’s window, among other tales of the man. Another event that shows his necessity to the story is the fact that without Boo, it is likely that Jem and Scout would have been murdered. The...
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