Essay on Mockingbird: To Kill a Mockingbird and Boo

Submitted By sydneygodin
Words: 1301
Pages: 6

Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
A character in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird that goes through many difficulties and ends in triumph is Boo Radley. You do not see Boo throughout the majority of the book but you hear many stories about him. There are signs that he is in many of the places as Jem and Scout without them noticing. Boo has many rumors spread about him around town, all of them bad. Some of these are that he eats squirrels, he cuts his father with a pair of scissors, and he peeks in the children’s windows at night. Over the years these rumors have escalated with each generation adding to the stories. “I’ve seen his tracks in our back yard many a mornin’, and one night I heard him scratching on the back screen,but he was gone by the time Atticus got there”.(Lee,17)These stories scare Jem, Scout and many of the other children so much that they will not even walk on the same side of the street as the Radley house as they pass it. Nobody really stops to think of the possibility that the rumors might not be true or even how Boo might feel about them. Boo probably feels suffocated because he is constantly surrounded by people who question every little thing he does such as staying inside his house all the time. He probably feels lonely and afraid to try and make friends because people already have made their assumtions about him , even though they do not really know much about him asides from the stories. These rumors have affected Boo’s life in many ways. He will not leave the house at all which means he has no way of communicating with people other than the ones living inside the old, Radley house with him. In reality Boo is really just a nice man who has done nothing to deserve these rumors and because of them has now been scared into staying locked up in his house. In the beginning of the book you start to believe that Boo really is just a crazy man, but later throughout the novel you notice small things he does that hint he is nicer than the stories suggest. In many ways Boo has overcome his fears of the outside world and the stories spread about him.
Boo Radley has heard all of the rumors but has decided to push them aside and resolve the problem. He starts in very small ways without people knowing what he is doing so that they would not be suspicious. He wants to interact with people again and thinks what better people to start with than his own neighbours Jem and Scout Finch. He slowly starts to do nice things for them without them noticing. In chapter 6 Jem’s pants are stuck to the fence at the Radley house and it is suggested that Boo is the one that gets them out and folds them. When Jem goes to get them he’s so shocked he says “When I went back, they were folded across the fence… like they were expectin’ me.” (Lee, 63)Boo also starts to leave small gifts for them in the knot hole in the tree. They may not know it is him from the beginning but he knows they will eventually find out. This is a small gesture that goes a long way for his friendship with the Finches. Boo also is the one that puts a blanket on Scout during the fire at Miss Maudie’s house. When Scout finds out she is really scared but also very curious and thankful for the mysterious man next door. This is the beginning of when Scout starts to see Boo in a different light and wonders if maybe he is not as bad as everybody makes him seem. All of these small actions really help lead up to the big triumph of Boo Radley which is the night he saves Jem and Scout from Mr.Ewell. They were just starting to believe they would never hear from him again until he saves their lives. It is at that moment that Scout realises that Boo is really only a quiet man who is neighbourly to them when she is not at all to him. The part that really stands out in this chapter is when Scout walks Boo home and you know that he completed his mission in proving that he is different than what the rumors make him out to be. He triumphs over his difficulties and