Boo Radley as a Symbol in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

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Holly Parker November 12, 2013 Pre-AP English 10 To Kill a Mockingbird Essay (Prompt #2) In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, there are very few big symbols but one stands out when examining the novel, and that would be Boo Radley, who shows the bridge between child and adult for one little girl and is the sign that is still good in the world when it doesn’t seem possible. The character of Arthur (Boo) is seen as the ghost of the town; no one sees or hears from him. He was supposedly locked in his house by his father when he got into trouble but after his father’s death he still doesn’t make an appearance. Everyone in the little town of Maycomb have their own spin of what he looks like and what he does at night when no one is around. As the novel progresses, Boo is turned from character to more of a path. Toward the end of the novel, Arthur becomes the path Scout, the main character, needs to bridge from child to adult in morals. In the beginning of the story, the symbol of Boo was just childhood superstition. Everyone made up stories of how he looked and acted even though no one had seen him in years. When Scout and Jem, her older brother, start to find gifts like soap dolls and pieces of gum in the tree in front of Boo’s house, she begins to realize that the superstition is in fact a real person. At the end of the book, the character of Arthur is finally out of hiding. The only reason he reveals himself is to save Scout and Jem from their deaths. When all is calm and Scout has taken Boo home and he hides once again, she stands on his porch. From where she stood, she crossed the last of the bridge and became a sympathetic and understanding person; child to adult. Arthur isn’t just the symbol of the bridge but also the ultimate symbol of good in the story. He is good because he was mistreated by his cruel father, who broke his childhood
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