• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To Kill a Mockingbird. In this essay, one will analyse the character of Arthur Radley (Boo) and discuss how he is displayed to the audience.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Set in the 1940's, Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" features a man named Arthur Radley, though the people of Maycomb know him as Boo. He is portrayed as a "malevolent phantom", hence his nickname, that eats cats and is over seven feet tall. He is also described as the "town recluse and madman" which is predominantly down to rumours and distortion of truth from Maycombers. Through the use Scout's narration, one ascertains that as a teenager, Boo entangled himself with the "wrong crowd of people". The group was also described to be "the closest thing to a gang that Maycomb had seen" as they had stolen the sheriff's car. This crime led Boo to being sentenced to go to a reformatory school. However, Mr. Radley, Boo's father, convinced the judge to let him keep his son in the house instead, for it would be a disgrace to send him to the reformatory school. He was not seen, or heard of for fifteen years when he allegedly plunged a pair of scissors into his fathers legs. Arthur's actions are far removed from the children of Maycombs understanding; they simply believe that he is a freak of nature due to their naivety towards the adult world. ...read more.

Middle

At first, Jem is afraid of Boo like many others in Maycomb, describing him to be a "monster" and "squirrel eater". This demonstrates to the reader the prejudice circulating around Boo but due to the unreliable narration, the reader can determine that these descriptions are nothing but images synthesised by a child's imagination which is fuelled by the romours created by Maycombs citizens. This gives the reader a sense of condolence towards Boo. In addition, it is evident that Jem is fervidly curious about Boo in the sense that he is trying to lure him out of his house via leaving notes to him, trying to look through the window and his tyre game. This establishes to the reader just how little is known about Arthur (as Jem is attempting to dig up information on him) and how people see him as an commodity to entertain rather than a human being. This style of writing keeps the reader very curious about Boo as he is the centre of attention for the main characters. As the novel progresses, Jem's changing attitude towards Boo Radley is a vital measurement of his development from innocence towards a grown-up moral perspective. ...read more.

Conclusion

Avery. Furthermore, Boo doesn't make his carvings for himself; rather, he offers them as presents. Jem and Scout, on the other hand, make the snowman purely for their own enjoyment. This shows that Boo interacts with others on their terms showing how kind and sociable he is to some respects. Lee uses an elliptical technique in telling Boo's story; she hints and implies at what is happening without ever showing the reader directly (dual perspective) showing just how misunderstood Arthur is. In conclusion, the reader is given a mixed image of Arthur Radley in the first 9 chapters of the novel. The first image of Arthur is mainly composed of imprudent defamation by Maycombers and the horror-fuelled imagination's of Scout, Jem and Dill. This side of Boo describes him to be an evil man who has no other intention but to prey on the week in the early our of the morning. On the other hand, through the characters of Atticus and Miss Maudie, we see that Boo is the victim of severe parenting and neglect and is not a monster but a "gentle and kind young man". The reader also begins to see in these chapters that, Boo is the ultimate symbol of innocence (a mocking bird). ...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. Marked by a teacher

    In this essay I will be exploring Jem and Scout's journey to maturity throughout ...

    5 star(s)

    This shows she did not really think that Jem would get angry because of his usual, good temper. She did not think as a child about the reasons behind Jem's 'mad' outburst and how Mrs Dubose's comments about their family affects Jem in a different way to her.

  2. English essay on 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.

    Scout asks jack what a "Whore-lady" is and he tells her something completely untrue, when Atticus is told he informs his brother to always tell the truth to a child when asked something. I believe that Atticus is doing right.

  1. How effectively does Harper Lee convey her ideas about prejudice in her novel To ...

    temerity to 'feel sorry' for a white woman who has to put his word against two white peoples.' Tom didn't intentionally mean any harm, but is a victim of racism and dies because he is the wrong race - a black man in a white society.

  2. In what sense are Tom Robinson and Arthur (Boo) Radley considered to be "mockingbird" ...

    'Mockingbirds don't do one thing but to make music for us to enjoy...they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us, that's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird' Boo is a like a mocking bird as he has done nothing wrong, he gives things and does things just so the children are happy.

  1. 'To Kill a Mocking Bird'. The first example of prejudice in this novel is ...

    It is most often demonstrated by Scout who is completely unaware of it as well as a few of her fellow class members on the first day of school. They attributed certain qualities to each family in Maycomb and expected them all to be hereditary.

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird Notes - Characters, Themes & Quotes

    from a child's point of view but also from a mature, adult perspective, offering the benefit of hindsight. The two different views are years apart. * (a)The insightful narration by the adult Scout contrasts with the point of view, wit and humour expressed by the child Scout.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    Her voice and viewpoint offer a glimpse of local events and personalities through the lens of childhood, which may not always grasp the entire story. She often looks up to Atticus, who always displays an upright, solidly moral response for his reactions to events.

  2. How are Prejudice and Hypocrisy explored in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird? Notes ...

    Deeply unfair and untrue. Stereotyping an entire race. Assuming that the black community is reckless. Ironically, Tom Robinson lived a clean and upright life, like a Mockingbird. Also, Tom Robinson had absolutely no choice, he was fighting for his life, he could not wait for an appeal, it was his best chance to break free.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work