Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 710 words

The importance of Boo Radley in the novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Importance of 'Boo' Radley Arthur Radley, nicknamed Boo Radley by the children of Maycomb plays a very important role in the first ten chapters of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee. Boo Radley is a recluse. He and his family are regarded as outsiders and are shunned by the majority of the towns inhabitants because they deviate from what is socially acceptable in Maycomb, this is seen in the line "The Radleys, welcome anywhere in town, kept to themselves, a predilectation unforgivable in Maycomb." This is very effective at showing how the townspeople alienate citizens who don't conform to the ways of Maycomb. Boo Radley is a victim of this alienation. Rather than let his son be taken to an industrial school after causing trouble in Maycomb, Mr. ...read more.

Middle

Boo is also used to display the results of such treatment. This is indicated in the line "and you can look down the street and see the results." The children then speculate on how Mr. Radley kept Boo out of sight, in the line "Jem figured that Mr. Radley kept him chained to the bed most of the time." This shows how the hearsay and gossip of society has become ingrained in the minds of the children despite Atticus' efforts. The community's fear of outsiders causes the children to create ridiculous rumours about Boo such as in the line "Almost died first year I come to school and et them pecans-folks say he pizened 'em and put 'em over on the school side of the fence." This again shows how intolerance of Maycomb's adults has turned the children against Boo. ...read more.

Conclusion

he ain't never hurt us." This contradicts his initial suspicions about Boo. Scout on the other hand, is reluctant to discard her beliefs. Harper Lee uses a metaphor to portray her shock "My stomach turned to water and I nearly threw up." This tells us that she is still afraid and wary of Boo Radley, even though he tried to help her despite his qualms about leaving his house. This proves that the superstitions and suspicions of Maycomb were askew from the beginning. Although Boo Radley remains unseen throughout the first ten chapters his role is central to the novel. Harper Lee makes Boo Radley one of the most important characters in the novel without him actually being seen until the very end. The presence of Boo Radley represents the oppression and exclusion facing those who conflict society's expectations. In this novel Boo Radley is made into a monster, but the citizens of Maycomb are the true villains. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. Discuss the importance of Boo Radley in relation to the themes and plot of ...

    Highly classed people are people like Atticus Finch, this is because they live according to the law, live like civilised people, have good jobs and are clean and tidy people. Low classed people are people like Bob Ewell, this is because they do not abide by the law do not

  2. The Importance of the Minor Characters in "To Kill a Mockingbird".

    In reality though, he is simply jaded by the hypocrisy of white society and prefers living alongside the black community. He explains his situation to the children, saying âSome folks donât â like the way I live ⦠I try to give âem a reason, you see.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    Scout realizes how lucky she is to have a family that needs her. Then Dill suggests that they have a baby together, and even though he knows the real way that babies occur, he makes up a long dreamy story about a magic island where babies are collected like flowers.

  2. The stories of "Poor Peter" in Cranford and of Boo Radley in To Kill ...

    At the beginning of the book, Scout didn't get on with Calpurnia, and "felt her tyrannical presence" as long as she could remember. Tom Robinson was a Negro man accused of a rape he did not commit. In To kill a Mockingbird he, along with Arthur Radley, showed the scale of prejudice in the 1930's.

  1. Compare the ways in which Gilbert Dawson of The Sexton's Hero and Boo Radley ...

    Whereas Gaskell uses old fashioned words and rambling sentences, Lee uses more modern language and writes in shorter, less complex sentences that are easier to understand, contrasting with The Sexton's Hero which can, at times, be difficult to follow. Whilst Gaskell's work is focused entirely on the deeds of Gilbert

  2. Look closely at Scout’s early experiences at school (pages 22-38). Discuss what you find ...

    We are also shown that it is not only the Cunningham's who are poor, but this poverty can be found in the whole of the community in Maycomb. Scout asks "Are we poor Atticus?" "We are indeed." The poverty and prejudice in Maycomb are apparent all the way through the

  • Over 180,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.