Fear In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Fear has many forms. In To Kill a Mockingbird fear is presented in many ways. It is a predominate force behind the story, and also something that allows the reader to relate. We first see the simple fears of childhood beliefs; they are not backed up and there is no solidity. Later, as the characters grow and mature the fear grows and changes. New situations are introduced and new fear is born. It becomes real. The innocence of fear is shown in the beginning of To Kill a Mockingbird. The children fear the Radleys and paint a colorful picture of their own perspective. They see Boo Radley as being a,” malevolent phantom.”(page 8) Their only information about the Radleys comes from other children, none of whom have any solid source. Jem and Scout build their opinions of Boo Radley based on rumors. The uncertainty of their knowledge builds up curiosity and, in turn, creates fear. The lack of truth leads them to make up stories and believe that Boo Radley really is a “phantom.” Atticus is one of the only reliable sources available to Scout and Jem regarding Boo Radley. He has the discernment and knowledge that the children lack, and he hopes to show them a new perspective. The contrast of the childrens’ judgment and his acceptance adds a dynamic element to fear. Boo Radley being normal is so far an idea from what the children know they refuse to believe it. They are scarred to believe it. The surety in Atticus causes them to have doubts and question their own fears. The fear grows and fades as Jem and Scout get older and mature. The growth is an outcome of curiosity and fear mixing as the story goes on. The children come out of the innocent fear and enter into a stage of interest. This brings them to make bets and play games regarding Boo Radley. They explore the life they believe he leads and the events they think got him there. At a point Boo is humanized. The
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