To Kill a Mockingbird Quote Analysis

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Reading Log: To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapters 5-7
“Then I saw the shadow…the shadow of a man with a hat on…the shadow, crisp and toast moved across the porch towards Jem..When it crossed Jem… he went rigid.” (53)

The context of this quote is during their sneaky trip to Boo Radley’s house. This was the last day Dill was going to stay in Maycomb for this year, so they decided to take a quick peek at Radley Place by creeping around the house and looking through the side windows. As they are take a quick peek, the see the shadow of what they think is Boo with a hat on. They go numb with fear, and run for it. As they are leaving the area from under a fence, they hear a shotgun go off from Radley Place.

The quote of narration from Scout accurately describes the kind of fear that the neighborhood legends give to the kids. The description, “ He (Jem) put his arms over his head and went rigid” (53), shows how bloated up of a character Boo Radley is. They do not even know if this shadow is Boo, however they are frozen with fear. However, after this event occurs, the little gifts that begin to appear in the tree leads the reader to make an educated guess that it is Boo Radley who is constantly giving these gifts. Since they used deductive reasoning to believe that it couldn’t have been Miss Maudie or any other person in Maycomb, they only other person in their neighborhood that came to mind was Boo Radley. Also, to enforce their conclusion that it was Boo Radley who was giving the gifts was when Nathan Radley cemented the hole in the tree. The series of gifts ending up in the tree molded Boo’s character into a more human-like personality. Miss. Maudie also told Scout that Boo used to be a nice boy who only became supposedly “insane” because of his family. She stated that Boo’s family was extremely religious and drove Boo insane when his father was constantly obsessed with “sin”. Scout now has more sympathy for Boo, who is now a poor man who was abused as child,...
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