The Unseen Side of Boo Radley 

Boo Radley to me, is a good man but, according to Jem is described as “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 wash the blood off”(Lee 3) . This quote is from the character Jem about another character, Boo Radley in Harper Lee’s book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Seen in different scenarios, Boo is described in a light gothic and similar to Jem’s description. Another instance is on page 263, when Jem is carried to safety by Boo (Lee 263). This scene is one of the first times the kids really see Boo, and his good and generous side. This scenario depicts Boo’s generosity, which is important in scenes throughout the book.

For example, in the book there is a tree that Jem and Scout call the Knothole Tree. This tree has a small hole in it, and the kids begin finding objects like a ball of yarn, chewing gum, and even two soap figures that represent themselves. They later find out that Boo Radley is leaving these gifts for them. Eventually Mr. Radley, Boos brother, plugs the Knothole Tree because he says it is dying (Lee 63). About, two to three chapters later, Scout sees Boo’s generosity again in a town tragedy. Miss Maudie’s house catches on fire, and Jem and Scout are scared having to wake up in an already frantic situation.

The fire is a surprise since Maycomb is in the middle of a harsh winter and it was the middle of the night. Atticus wakes the kids, but in all the confusion someone lays a blanket over Scout to protect her from the cold. When Atticus asks about this instance, Scout is unsure who had done it, but later in the book it is revealed that it must have been Boo Radley (Lee 68-74). These are a couple of the many instances of Boo Radley’s generosity towards the kids. He is rumored to be a monster but is simply misunderstood through lies spread around the town. This can relate in real life to Andre the Giant, a huge man that was pretty scary looking, but in reality, is generous and kind. He even plays in movie roles to be a scary character, but this is misleading about him, just like rumors spread around town about Boo Radley mislead people about him as well. Until, Boo does an act of generosity for Jem and Scout.

Finally, these events all lead up to one big event at the end of the book. This event is on a night when Jem and Scout are out by themselves at night. They are doing normal, everyday things when out of nowhere, Bob Ewell shows up. The kids hear him a couple times and do not know what it is, but then someone is running towards them, and they panic, Scout falls to the ground because she is unbalanced. She hears a crack and then Jem screams, then the figure that did all of this is thrown back. Before Scout knows it, a figure is carrying Jem’s limp body and while Scout was walking back to their home. Aunt Alexandra panics and calls the Dr. Reynolds, but Atticus knows someone hurt his kids, so he calls the sheriff (Lee 260-266). Later it is revealed to be Boo Radley who saves the kids. Since he saves the kids’ lives, Atticus talks to Boo, and Jem and Scout get to meet Boo Radley for the first time. They come up with many theories on how Bob Ewell died, but eventually come to find that Boo killed Bob with his knife. After, they finally meet him and they realize that all the rumors spread around Maycomb are lies. Boo is a nice man and is being misunderstood by the whole county. The only reason he kills Bob is to save Jem and Scout from being killed. As a result, Boo being a good man is the main reason why I chose this topic.

Although Boo Radley did kill a man and was pretty weird, since he had never been out of the house, he wasn’t a monster. He was a good man, and better than most of the men in Maycomb. I think moving forward, Boo will get to know the community a lot better, and maybe even become friends of Jem and Scouts. After reading “What Makes a Good Man?”(Quota, published by Kerry McAvoy, 2016) it is clear that Boo has traits of a good man, and has qualities that show generosity and thinking of a good man. The article said that a good man is a man that can be strong, but open to those close to him. I think Boo defines this trait when he talks to Scout and her family about things they ask him after the incident with Bob Ewell. It also states that finding a good man is hard, but possible. They are not unicorns, but a wonderful find. I think this relates to Boo, since he is one of the few good men in Maycomb and was hard to find, since his brother and parents had him locked up in a house all the time.

In conclusion, Boo had all the traits necessary to be a good man. He is very caring towards the kids, especially Scout and Jem, and is also gentle to those who he cares about. The only acts of harm he did were the ones that benefited good people. As it is now easy to see that he is good, you can see all the untrue rumors spread about him. Nobody could defend these lies, because nobody really knew that he was a good man. All the acts throughout the book leading up to the murder of Bob Ewell all define that Boo really was a good man. An instance in the opposite position is the instance of Bill Cosby. In the 1980s, Bill Cosby was prized by America for his funny acting in comedies. Now, Bill Cosby is in jail for drugging women and assaulting them. This shows that you never know the real characters of someone, until you know them very well, or other people or actions reveal it. Now that I know Boo better, I know he is a good man and has qualities of a good man.

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The unseen side of boo radley . (2021, May 15). Retrieved August 10, 2022 , from

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