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Boo Radley Realization Essay

Judgemental. Realization. Acceptance. These are three important factors which caused Scout to change her outlook on the world. She goes from judging Boo Radley, to realising he was not what everyone thought. Then she began to understand she should not base her thoughts on someone purely off what others have told her. In Harper Lee’s, To Kill A Mockingbird, the moment which had the greatest effect on Scout’s life is when she realized Boo Radley saved her life, because she understood judging Boo before she met him was the incorrect thing to do.

For a majority of the book Scout was told Boo Radley was a crazy, antisocial, outcast, through the rumors spread around Maycomb. Scout did not know anything else about Boo, so she did not think twice about it. One of the stories Scout heard was about how Boo Radley “drove the scissors into his parent’s leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activities” (Lee 13). This story contributed to the idea that Boo was crazy. Everybody thought he was heartless and was willing to kill his own parents.

Everyone in Maycomb had painted a mental picture of Boo as a terrible person. The kids were also told that “his hands were bloodstained – [because] if you ate an animal raw you could never wash the blood off” (Lee 16). This tied into the story that “Boo bit off his mother’s finger one night when he couldn’t find any cats or squirrels to eat”(Lee 52). These myths try to make him look barbaric and uneducated. The story of Boo biting his mother’s finger off was created by Dill. This shows how not just Scout, but all of the children, are making judgments about Boo.

Scout believed all these things despite never meeting Boo. All of these stories caught Scout’s interest. She spent time with Jem and Dill acting out Boo’s life. The three of them spent a large portion of the book trying to make contact or at least see him. They nearly had a n obsession with him. Towards the end of the book, Scout and Jem are on their way home from a play at their school. They hear someone following them, and are soon after attacked. It was dark outside and Scout could not tell what exactly was happening. She was confused, helpless, and getting thrown around.

After some time she saw a man “walking with the staccato steps of someone carrying a load too heavy for him” (352). Scout does not know who the man is, but she thinks it is Atticus carrying Jem home. She is worried and does not know what is going on. She rushes home and Heck Tate, Dr. Reynold, Aunt Alexandra, Atticus, Jem, and a strange man all met at the Finch household. Jem was unconscious and Scout noticed the odd man in the corner. After talking about what happened just before she figured out it was Boo. All she said was “Hey, Boo” (273).

At this point, she has finally realised that the Boo Radley she was so afraid of, had saved her life. This is a pivotal moment because everyone thought of Boo Radley as a horrible person. However, now he has saved the lives of two children and come out of hiding. After they clear everything up from that night, Boo ask Scout to walk him home. She agrees and once they get the to Radley house she notices that she can see most of the town. begins to list the things she can see from one spot; “There was Miss Maudie’s, Miss Stephanie’s- there was [the Finch’s] house… Miss Rachel’s… even Mrs.

Dubose’s” (373). This is when she realized that Boo never left his house because he could see everything from his home. He did not need to come out and and walk around to know what was going on around the town. After it is all said and done Scout thinks to herself, “Atticus was right… you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them” (374). This is the moment Scout reveals her breakthrough. She admits that she can not make judgments on a person until she gets to know them. The quote is what let the reader truly know Scout had changed.

Scout comes to the realization that judging people she does not personally know, leads to misunderstandings and faulty thoughts. She thought Boo Radley was a barbaric, heartless, outsider. Then he saved her life and she got to know him slightly more. She realized that her thoughts about Boo were all wrong. She came to understand that she should not believe everything people tell her, and she should only make judgments from personal experience. Not only did it have an effect on Scout, but many others saw how Boo Radley was actually a caring human being.

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