"Boo" Radley

Use this mindmap to articulate the important qualities about the character you are studying.

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"Boo" Radley by Mind Map: "Boo" Radley


1.1. Belief

1.2. Symbol of Friendship

1.2.1. "Less than two weeks we found a whole package of chewing gum.... The following week the knot-hole yeilded a tarnished metal... Our biggest prize appeared four days later." Scout - (Page 67) Boo believed that he, Scout, Jem and Dill were friends and by showing this he constantly gave them tokens as a symbol of his friendship.

1.3. Boo Values Scout

1.3.1. "'Will you take me home?' He almost whispered it, in the voice of a child. I put my foot on the top step and stopped. I would lead him through our house, but i would never lead him home. 'Mr Arthur, bend your arm down here, like that. Thats eight Sir'... she could see Arthur Radley escorting me down the sidewalk, as any gentle man would do" Scout & Boo - (Page 306) This shows how much Boo values his friendship with Scout. Their connection goes a lot further than just communication. Their actions towards each other a strong in sense that in any situation they can help each other out.

1.4. Value

1.4.1. "A man was passing under it. The man was walking with the staccato steps of someone carrying a load to heavy for him. He was going around the corner. He was carrying Jem. Jem's arm was dangling crazily in front of him." Scout (page 290) Boo Radley helps the kids unconditionally. As a friend of theirs, he sees it as his job to make sure they're safe and to look after them form a distance. For Boo, this is in return for his much valued friendship with them.


2.1. Quality

2.1.1. "She was even lonelier than Boo Radley, who had not been out of the house in twenty-five years." - Scout Finch (Page 209) The type of person Boo Radley was thought to be and what they assumed about him. The feelings that were brought on from him cutting himself off from everything and everyone.

2.2. Quality

2.2.1. "I was beginning to learn his body English. His hand tightened on mine and he indicated that he wanted to leave. I led him to the front porch, where his uneasy steps halted." He was still holding my hand and he gave no sign of letting me go." -Scout Finch (Page 304) On one of the few occasions Boo Radley was bought into a scene. He was not used to being outside his house, and with other people.

2.3. Quality

2.3.1. "'Will you take me home?' He almost whispered it in the voice of a child afraid of the dark." - Boo Radley (Page 304) Boo Radley was clearly not a confident person as described here.


3.1. Why Boo Radley Hides Away

3.1.1. "Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time... Its because he wants to stay inside." Jem Fitch (Page 247) Boo Radley having no motivation to leave his house, the outside world being what it is.

3.2. Sadness, Regret

3.2.1. "He gently released my hand, opened the door, went inside, and shut the door behind him. I never saw him again. Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad." -Scout Fitch (Page 306) After he saved Jem from Bob Ewel, and proved the type of person he was, he had no reasons left to leave his house again. As shown here also, his motivation was not the rewards of food and flowers; as they never even got the chance to give him back anything.

3.3. What is Boo Radley really motivated by? Suspicion.

3.3.1. "Know what’d happen then? All the ladies in Maycomb includin‘ my wife’d be knocking on his door bringing angel food cakes. To my way of thinkin’, Mr. Finch, taking the one man [Boo] who’s done you and this town a great service an‘ draggin’ him with his shy ways into the limelight—to me, that’s a sin. It’s a sin and I’m not about to have it on my head. If it was any other man, it’d be different. But not this man, Mr. Finch." - Sheriff Tate (Page 304) Sheriff Tate believing that Boo Radley was only motivated by the respect and rewards he collected from saving Jem and helping the town.


4.1. Myths and stories about Boo

4.1.1. "Every scratch on the gravel was Boo Radley seeking revenge, every passing Negro laughing in the night was Boo Radley loose and after us; insects splashing against the screen were Boo Radley's insane fingers picking the wire to pieces.." - Scout Finch (Page 60) The myths and the stories that have been made up around Boo have had a huge impact on how others see him; he has become this sort of monster without even realising it.

4.2. Myths and stories about Boo

4.2.1. "Besides, I don't think he's still there. He died years ago and they stuffed him up the chimney." - Jem Fitch (Page 42) Example of the stories and exaggerated realities that have been made up around him. The speculation have become so bizarre because there is no one to tell them the truth.

4.3. What he is really like

4.3.1. "Boo doesn't mean anybody any harm.." - Scout Finch (Page 277) Finally seeing/meeting Boo, Scout uncovers what he is really like.


5.1. Made up description

5.1.1. "Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, thats why his hands were blood-stained - if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off." - Jem Finch (Page 13) This description was a pre-conceived idea that many people of Maycomb had on Boo Radley. They believed him to be a dirty and unfriendly man who never left his house. There were some speculations that he had also killed somebody.

5.2. Made up description

5.2.1. "There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time." - Jem Finch (Page 13) This is Jem's description of Boo Radley, what they believed he looked like early on in the book before they had really seen him.

5.3. Reality Apperance

5.3.1. "They were white hands, sickly white hands that had never seen the sun, so white they stood out garishly against the dull cream wall in the sim light of Jem's room." - Scout Finch (Page 294) After finally seeing Boo Radley in person, the description that he is given is very different to the one they used based on stories and myths about him.


6.1. Concern of Boo Radley being dangerous

6.1.1. "Every night-sound I heard from my cot on the back porch was magnified threefold; every scratch of feet on gravel was Boo Radley seeking revenge, every passing Ne_ gro laughing in the night was Boo Radley loose and after us; insects splashing against the screen were Boo Radley’s insane fingers picking the wire to pieces; the chinaberry trees were malignant, hovering, alive. I lingered between sleep and wakefulness..." -Scout Finch (Page 61) Scout's previous perceptions on Boo Radley, and the type of person Scout thought he was, though he turned out to be the opposite; shy, and unconfident.

6.2. Who Killed Bob Ewell

6.2.1. "Atticus seems to believe that Jem killed Bob Ewell in self-defense, while Sheriff Tate has a different view: A view that describes his perception of Boo Radley:"-Scout Finch (Page 303) Sheriff Tate believing that it was actually Boo Radley who killed Bob Ewell, having a low opinion of the character, and harsh judgements on him.

6.3. Crimes Commited in Maycomb

6.3.1. “Any stealthy small crimes commited in Maycomb were his work” (9). This is another assumption the town has of Boo Radley. If the town’s people could prove that the crimes were actually Boo Radley’s work, then that is one way of knowing some rumors may be true. Most of the things heard are assumptions, and I do not think it is right to make up these rumors about someone when they could very well be false." -Scout Finch (Page 9) They were used to blaming everything bad on Boo Radley, as their was no there to protect or defend him.

6.4. Is Boo Radley Alive

6.4.1. "The Radley Place had ceased to terrify me, but it was no less gloomy, no less chilly under its great oaks, and no less uninviting. Mr. Nathan Radley could still be seen on a clear day, walking to and from town; we knew Boo was there, for the same old reason—nobody’d seen him carried out yet. I sometimes felt a twinge of remorse, when passing by the old place, at ever having taken part in what must have been sheer torment to Arthur Radley—what reasonable recluse wants children peeping through his shutters, delivering greetings on the end of a fishingpole, wandering in his collards at night?..." -Scout Finch (Page 266) What they saw of the Radley household, believing Boo was still there as they had never seen him leave; trying to see things from the Radley's point of view.