Boo's Bold Bravery Essay

Submitted By mirbainwohl
Words: 978
Pages: 4

Boo’s Bold Bravery

“Success is never final, failure is never fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
-Winston Churchill

Courage, as defined by the dictionary, is known as mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. However, true courage takes more than just mere bravado and the conquering of fear. Courage, as defined by Atticus Finch, “is when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see through it no matter what” (pg.112). In the book “To Kill A Mockingbird”, the idea of courage is seen through numerous characters, but the one character whose audacity stands out the most, in my opinion, is Mr. Radley, more commonly known as Boo Radley for three main reasons. First, Boo comes in contact with Jem and Scout, second, he is a very caring man, and finally, he puts his life on the line for others.

As I said above, the first way Boo displays bravery is by coming in contact with Jem and Scout, despite his perturbation of being around people. Boo is a very reclusive person, due to being shunned by the society, and it took courage for him to come out of his house, even to save Scout's life. Even after he does this, he is frightened, although he does not run away once he perceives that she is a safe being. "When I pointed to him his palms slipped slightly, leaving greasy sweat streaks on the wall, and he hooked his thumbs in his belt. A strange spasm shook him, as if he heard fingernails scrape a slate, but as I gazed at him in wonder the tension slowly drained from his face. His lips parted into a timid smile, and our neighbor's image blurred with my sudden tears” (pg.270). He is courageous when he is needed, although he does not like being around other people in society.

The second reason I think that Boo Radley is more courageous than any other character in the book is because from events that have betided, it can be inferred that he is a very caring, benevolent man. Boo has been shut away from society all of his life, with the exception of when he was very young. He first begins to put objects in a tree outside of his house like candy and toys as a means of reaching out to Scout and Jem - "And yet I remember, two Indian-head pennies, chewing gum, soap dolls, a rusty medal, a broken watch and chain." (242), as well as placing a blanket over Scout’s shoulders during a house fire, providing her warmth during a cold winter’s night. Although it is never precisely stated in the book that Boo was the one performing all these noble deeds, the reader is easily able to establish that he ‘secretly’ accomplished these actions. "You were so busy looking at the fire you didn't know it when [Boo] put the blanket around you" (Lee 72). By having done this, it shows that Boo cares for the children, in this case Scout, by building up the strength to come out of his house just to provide her with comfort and warmth - it took courage for him to try and reach out to another being. Also, after Jem tears his shirt and leaves it behind, Boo mends it. Again, he has stepped out of his safety zone just to care for the kids, conveying his compassion and observance regarding them.

The third and final reason I feel that Boo Radley is the greatest source of fortitude is due to the fact that he puts his life at risk for the safety and well-being of others. In saving Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell, Boo proves all of town’s rumors, stories, and opinions on him to be incorrect. When Boo saw that Jem