Boo Radley Symbolism

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In the novel ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee, the book is based around two young children, Jem and Scout Finch, growing up in Southern America in the 1930’s – where racism is still rife in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. These children are taught about the good and evil people in the world. Two of these ‘good’ people are ‘mockingbirds’, where a mockingbird is a discreet symbol used to portray innocence, human kindness and morals of a society. These ‘mockingbirds’ are Tom Robinson and Boo Radley and throughout the novel they are slowly destroyed by the evil in society. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee uses a small, yet effective symbol to portray innocence, human goodness, and morals of a society. This symbol, a mockingbird,…show more content…
Killing a mockingbird is all about prejudice and the many different forms it comes in. In the novel, it’s expressed through a seemingly innocent and harmful act of the children’s perceptions of Boo Radley, as well as in an ugly form like that of the false accusation and ultimate death of Tom Robinson. These two characters are ‘mockingbirds’ in a sense because they are kind, unassuming and selfless – they bring nothing but pleasure to the people they know. Boo’s kindness to the children is downplayed, and reflects significantly on his nature. Arthur literally becomes ‘Boo’, a boogieman. This is expressed through the quote “Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom. People said he existed, but Jem and I had never seen him. People said he went out at night when the moon was down, and peeped in windows” and became a figure of the children’s imagination, however he is a person of genuine character and this is shown when he saves the children from Bob Ewell. Tom Robinson’s kindness towards Mayella Ewell goes unnoticed until he is brought before the court on a rape charge. Tom does little chores and what would be conventionally considered a ‘favour’ for Mayella on numerous occasions out of the kindness in his heart as he never takes any payment for any of the work he does. This makes both these characters ‘mockingbirds’ as all they ever do is help and try and please those around them, however they are misjudged and their goodness goes unrecognised. That is why it is a sin to kill a
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