When thinking about the spread of rumors and how they can affect one’s reputation, this draws people to look at how one talks about another and the things that we say. In speaking, everything said affects one man’s life in Harper Lee’s book, To Kill a Mocking Bird. This man’s reputation is ruined at the beginning of the book by the spread of many rumors, but by the end he redeems himself by saving Jem and Scout. During and after reading the book To Kill a Mocking Bird, the life of Boo Radley, was only known mostly through the many rumors that state he is a bad person, but it turns out that surprisingly he is nice and saves the day.
For instance, in the life of Boo Radley, it didn’t start off very well, and some of his early decisions caused others to imagine their own truths about him. This led people to start believing in the rumors that filled the town. Most of these rumors, consisted of Boo sneaking out at night and peeking into people’s windows. Other rumors were that if your azaleas froze it was because he breathed on them. Based off of these rumors, most of the small crimes that happened in Maycomb were because of him (Lee 9). This led people to believe that Boo was not one that a person would want to be around in the small town of Maycomb. All of this from a few small mistakes early in life. I can relate to this because I myself have had rumors about me that weren’t true. These rumors broke me and my reputation but, I kept going and the rumors soon died because of my actions toward them.
For instance, Boo spent most of his younger adult life alone in the Radley house because of his actions for only a short part of his life. The Radley house was not very appealing to the eye; it looked very run down and not well kept(Lee 8). This gave the town an eerie feeling and some representation of Boo’s past decisions as a child. The actions of Boo angered his father leading him to lock Boo in the house for the rest of his life as punishment. Boo did not really follow his father’s directions, sneaking out in times of difficulty and stress in the town(Lee 9). This led people to question, is Boo Radley the person everyone says he is, or the person that really keeps Maycomb safe? I can relate to this by being locked up for my actions and getting in trouble. I necessarily didn’t get locked up like Boo, I just got sent to my room for the rest of the night to think about what I did. There is one event that answers this question.
For example, one evening in Maycomb changed the course of Boo’s life. Since it was Halloween for the first time in Maycomb History they wanted to have a pageant or play to show off the agricultural side of Macomb(Lee 252). Scout being younger was in this play; her role was a piece of ham to show the side of the pork industry. Scout was looking forward to this pageant and wanted her whole family to watch her. Although the family members didn’t go because they were tired, Jem took her to the pageant. I can relate to this because I too would want my family see me perform, but my parents coming home from a hard day’s work, would be too tired to operate and watch me perform. After the pageant they were heading home and Scout forgot her shoes so they turned back to get them just as the lights of the auditorium were turning off, so Scout went barefoot all the way home. While walking home Jem heard a noise that sounded like a person. This person, after following them for a while comes and attacks Jem and Scout. The next morning the person that attacked them is finally identified as Bob Ewell in the street dead. With no one to blame but Jem and Scout Atticus their father suspects Jem as the one that killed him. Although really Boo is the real killer, no one blames him because it would be like killing a mockingbird, there to cheer you up when you’re down with their songs, not to harm any of your belongings, property, or self being.
In conclusion, we now know how one’s reputation can be damaged by the spread of rumors. These rumors affected Boo Radley’s life tremendously and the way people viewed him. By the end of the book he is redeemed from these rumors by saving Jem and Scout the night of the pageant.
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