I chose to do my psychological analysis on Arthur “Boo” Radley. In the beginning of the novel, he’s portrayed as a frightening monster, locked up in his house to protect the citizens of Maycomb, Alabama. We are given a clear picture as to how the town of Maycomb views Book Radley. He is described as a monstrous creature, locked up in his house for years on end. We’re told that he became acquainted with the wrong kind of people as a teenager and locked Mr. Conner in an outhouse to resist arrest for disturbing the peace. Instead of being sent to a state school, Mr. Radley takes him home; Boo was hidden away for 15 years.
We’re then told that after those first 15 years, Boo Radley stabbed his father in the leg with a pair of scissors. This, to me, is the first inclination that Boo Radley may have been slightly mentally disabled because of the seclusion from the outside world imposed by his father. According to the novel, he randomly stabbed through his father’s leg, wiped the scissors off on his pants, and resumed his activities. In order for someone to show such random fits of violence, I don’t believe that he could have been completely lucid. Anyone under those kinds of conditions would most likely develop psychotic tendencies. This also demonstrates people’s basic need for people.
In addition, I also believe that Boo became a recluse of his own volition. After his parents died, Boo could have left his home, as he did on few occasions. However, after the years he spent harbored in his home, I believe that he began to be almost afraid of other people after seeing the way society was outside. Innocent people were convicted of crimes; societal classes reigned supreme; men with grudges attacked innocent children. When seen through this point of view, to someone who’s been prejudiced against and gossiped about, the world is a terrifying place.
Boo Radley isn’t the horribly grotesque character that the citizens of Maycomb view him as. Really, he’s one of...
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