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The Mystery Of Boo Radley By Harper Lee

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Boo Radley is well known as one of the much more mysterious characters in the book. He does not have a profession, nor does he have a very well-established role in the book, yet he does play one of the most important roles. When described, Boo Radley was known to be a very scary, creepy guy but it was really only an assumption made by the kids since they had never seen him before. I think that because of how young they were, they didn’t necessarily understand the concept of prejudice and just thought that everything they heard was true. A lot of the stuff that they heard ended up not being true whatsoever, such as the idea that Boo peeked into people’s windows at night and ate animals raw which gave him a very bad reputation. Then, the children started to become interacted with him.

The first time the children (Jem, Scout, and Dill) ever tried to interact with him was when they tried to sneak up on his porch and peek from the windows to see what he was doing, (or if he was even in the house) when they saw a shadow. Being the first possible remote interaction with him, the children rushed home in a panic. Even though he had never done anything to them, or had really affected their lives in any way, prejudice had gotten to the kids’ heads, having them think Boo was a dangerous person. As the children rushed home, Jem’s pants got caught on the fence, which he ended up having to ditch to get later. When later had come around, Jem found his pants neatly folded and stitched next to the fence. Jem had not known who exactly had sewn his pants, but the scene left the audience with the suspicion that Boo had sewn and folded them.

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The other interactions that were vital to the foreshadowing of Boo’s act of heroism were every time when all of the gifts were left in the knothole of the oak tree near the Radley residence. The book has suggested that Boo might have been the one to have left all of the gifts in the knothole because of how lonely he was. Since he had never really interacted with the community, he might have wanted to start by befriending these curious children. Boo left two sticks of gum in the knothole, (which I’m guessing would have been a test gift) and since he saw that it was successful, the gifts started getting bigger and stranger. Since starting out with the chewing gum, Boo filled the knothole with other strange gifts to the children such as a ball of twine, a whole pack of gum, two Indian head coins, spelling bee medals, a watch on a chain, an aluminum knife, and to top it all off, two soap carvings made to look similar to Jem and Scout.

The next important detail Lee included in the novel would be when Boo put the blanket on scout that cold winter night when Miss Maudie’s house caught on fire, in chapter eight. That night, while drinking hot chocolate, Atticus had looked at Scout in question, asking where she had gotten the blanket. Not until then had Scout realized she had the blanket on her. After having broken down and explained all of the past events that had occurred, Jem came to the conclusion that Boo Radley was responsible for putting the blanket on Scout. Atticus was quick to tell the children to leave Boo alone, which they did as Tom Robinson’s trial began to uncoil. When reading this, it had been made evident to me that all Boo wanted was to protect the children; this was a huge suggestion toward what would be happening at the end of the novel. Having read this at the time, I knew that Boo Radley will have played a big part at or near the end of the novel. At this point in the book, it was safe to say that Boo had definitely proved himself to the Finch children as a friend, and not a freak as he was portrayed by the multiple rumors in the beginning. Despite his absence in the past chapters, Boo Radley’s act of heroism was not a surprise to many, because of how Lee’s very well assembled foreshadowing took care of it.

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The Mystery Of Boo Radley By Harper Lee. (2021, September 20). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 3, 2023, from
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