English 1 honors
12 December 2014
In Harper Lee’s To kill a mockingbird Scout the narrator of the book explains all these rumors about Boo Radley and what the people think about Boo and his family.The many rumors surrounding Boo Radley, the county hermit, provide an eerie, curious and creepy feeling to the mood. Throughout the book readers realize the character Boo Radley is meant to symbolizes the maturity of Scout.
The Radleys provide a curious feeling to the book. For example, no one knows if Boo
Radley is alive.There are two sides to the Boo Radley story. People like Maudie
Atkinson,Scouts’ neighbor, believe that Boo Radley is very much alive. She says “His name’s
Arthur and he’s alive.”(57) While others like Jem, Scouts’ brother say “He died years ago and they stuffed him up the chimney.” (51)
The Radley family add an eerie feeling to the mood because the people of Maycomb spread rumors around like crazy. Scout states “According to Miss Stephanie, Boo was sitting in the living room cutting some items from The Maycomb Tribune to paste in his scrapbook. His father entered the room,and 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.”(13) The townspeople of Maycomb county such as Mrs. Stephanie Crawford spread the rumor of how Boo did this terrible act to his father making people believe that Boo Radley is a crazed maniac.
Another reason the Radley house provides an eerie feeling to the mood is because of how everyone acts around the Radley house. For example Harper Lee says “A baseball hit into the
Radley place was a lost ball.”(11) The way children behave when it comes to the Radley place contributes to the fact that there is such an eerie feeling around the Radley place. Another example of how the children behave around the Radley house is when Harper Lee says “A
Radley pecan would kill you.”(11) This quote is describing a tree that hangs over the fence that separates the Radley place from the schoolhouse. The kids were so scared of the Radley place that they wouldn’t eat anything that came from their yard.
The Radleys provide a creepy feeling to the mood. One of the reasons it does is because of how long the Radley rumors have been around. Scout says “The misery of the house began many years before Jem and I were born.” The rumors about Boo Radley have been around so long that they have been passed down to another generation which solidifies the chance of it staying around. The appearance of the house also contributes to the creepy mood. In the book it states, “The Radley Place jutted into a sharp curve beyond our house. Walking south, one faced its porch; the sidewalk turned and ran beside the lot. The house was low,was once white with a deep front porch and green shutters, but had long ago darkened to the color of the slategray yard around it. Rainrotted shingles drooped over the eaves of the veranda; oak trees kept the sun away. The remains of a picket drunkenly guarded the front yard— a “swept”