To Kill a Mockingbird
In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, through a child’s eyes Haper Lee develops a character named Arthur Radley. Arthur is know to the children simply as Boo . The name they have given him, depicts the way the children views him. Throughout the town of Maycomb, people twisted Boos personality and character into a terrible person. As the novel unfolds, the children finally discover the true character of Boo. But, because Arthur Radley lived in the shadows of society, the creation of the myth of the monster Boo Radley thrived.
One of the reasons for the mysteriousness of Arthur Radley leads to Miss Stephanie, who filled the children’s heads with numerous, false tales. The children’s minds are soiled with the idea that Boo looked like a horrible monster. This idea was rendered from Miss Stephanie who, in the novel, is the town gossip. She has told Jem plenty of times how Boo looks. Jem gave a reasonable description of Boo: Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were bloodstained-if you ate an animal raw you could never was the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellowed and rotten; his eyes popped and he drooled most of the time(Lee, 13). This image of Boo was permanently etched in the childrens minds. Every time they were around the Radley house all they could think of was the six-feet-tall monster in there. Of course, Arthur did not really look like that, but any child with an imagination could not dispose of this image. The town was filled with the rumors of dangerous Boo Radley. Everyone had heard the stories of him being violent and dangerous. Jem tells the other children about a story he heard from Miss Stephanie Crawford. He explains that one day Boo was cutting some information from Maycombs newspaper to paste in his scrapbook. Then, when his father entered the room, Boo stabbed him with the scissors. Boo drove them right into his leg. Then he returned to his activities like nothing happened(Lee,11). The children always
remembered how dangerous he was. They always had to observe the house from a distance, making sure that there was no way they could get injured. Maycomb never liked Boos father, Mr. Radley. He was very strict person, including a foot washing Baptist. He never approved of Arthurs actions as a teenager. So, when Boo was shut up in his house everyone thought that he was being held against his will. But, no one would ever try to challenge Mr. Radleys authority in his house. Therefore, because of the children’s ignorance and Miss Stephanies stories, they develop the character Boo Radley.
The idea of a person living in seclusion in Maycomb, was alien to the children who lived there. Many children were afraid of the Radleys. The stories about when and where Boo moves around to, when he secretly leaves his house, are pretty scary for the children. Jem tell Scout and Dill that Boo goes out during the night when it is pitch dark. He tells them about the time Miss Stephanie saw him looking strait at her though her window. He also explains this is the reason why Miss Rachel locks up so tight (Lee,13). The children believe that many people are afraid of Boo. Because the children hear some adults talk about Boo Radley and how bad his family is, they believe that he is dangerous also. The stories of Boo being trapped in the basement or even locked in his house, we easily believable by a six and ten year old. 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(Lee,11). Jem and Scout believed these tales, like they were the truth. Being innocent children, they wanted to help rescue Boo. Scout could never imagine sitting in the house all day. She gets bored on rainy days , so she can not believe how someone could stay in