The story of Boo Radley
In To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee one of the characters, Arthur “Boo” Radley, has a major struggle with society. He is an outcast. Boo being an outcast is caused by many different factors, he deals with it in different ways, and his struggle with society is important.
Boo Radley’s struggle with society is caused by many different factors. In the novel, the reader learns that Boo gets in some trouble as a teen when he befriends the Cunningham gang. The members of the Cunningham gang are a bunch of troublemakers. Boo and other boys in the gang are arrested one night for “disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, assault and battery, and using abusive and profane language in the presence and hearing of a female”(12). The judge decides to send the boys to the state industrial school. Mr. Radley thinks it would be a disgrace to have his boy sent there so he promises the judge if his boy is released to him he will not get in any more trouble. Boo Radleyis not seen again for 15 years. During this time one can imagine that Boo became very lonely. There was however a nasty rumor about Boo: “Boo was sitting in the livingroom cutting some items from The Maycomb Tribune to paste in his scrapbook. His father entered the room. As Mr. Radley passed by, Boo drove the scissors into his parent’s leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activities. Mrs. Radley ran screaming into the street that Arthur was killing them all, but when the sheriff arrived he found Boo still sitting in the livingroom, cutting up the Tribune. He was thirty-three years old then. Miss Stephanie says old Mr. Radley said no Radley was going to any asylum, when it was suggested that a season in Tuscaloosa might be helpful to Boo. Boo wasn’t crazy, he was high-strung at times It was all right to shut him up, Mr. Radley conceded, but insisted that Boo not be charged with anything: he was not a criminal. The sheriff hadn’t the heart to put him in jail alongside Negroes, so Boo was locked in the courthouse basement. Boo’s transition from the basement to back home was nebulous in Jem’s memory. Miss Stephanie Crawford said some of the town council told Mr. Radley that if he didn’t take Boo back, Boo would die of mold from the damp. Besides, Boo could not live forever on the bounty of the county. Nobody knew what form of intimidation Mr. Radley employed to keep Boo out of sight, but Jem figured that Mr. Radley kept him chained to the bed most of the time. Atticus said no, it wasn’t that sort of thing, that there were other ways of making people into ghosts.”(13-14) The reader tends not to believe this story, especially the part about the scissors, but parts of the story may be true. He may have gotten in trouble for some other reason and he definitely is “high-strung”. This quote shows what Boo would have to deal with if he left the Radley house. People would be afraid of him and talk about him behind his back. A lot of children in the novel run by the Radley house because they are afraid of Boo. Boo Radley is clearly an outcast to society.
Boo Radley deals with being an outcast in different ways. The reader is led to believe he is not supposed to leave his house during the day. So, he comes out at night: “People said he went out at night when the moon was down, and peeped in windows” (10.) It is clear that people tell stories about Boo, without any proof of them being true. In the novel the main character, Scout, crashes into the Radley house in a tire. She swears she hears laughter, Boo, coming from the house. Later in the novel, as Scout walks by a tree outside the Radley house, she notices something shiny sticking out of the hole in the tree. This is how it unfolds: “Two live oaks stood at the edge of the Radley lot; their roots reached out into the side-road and made it bumpy. Something about one of the trees attracted my attention. Some tinfoil was sticking in a...
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