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"If you want to know your past life, look into your present condition; if you want to know your future, look into your present action." - Kamakshi

To Kill a Mocking Bird - Boo Radley

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 03:05 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 69.3 
  • Words: 465
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Being physically absent in one’s life, doesn’t mean you’re not part of it. You’re sitting at home covered in a massive pile of homework, watching the second hand make smooth revolutions over the face. Only one-hundred more until someone walks through that door with dinner in their hands. Then suddenly the phone rings interrupting the silence. Startled, you answer and hear the voice of your sister for the first time in five years. In the background you hear a little voice and a faint cry. They’re the sounds of your two nieces whom you never knew existed. The simple action of her dialing eleven numbers has an impact on the rest of your life. Although Boo Radley himself is absent during most of the novel, he becomes a major character posing as one of the stories “mockingbirds”. In To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee develops one character Boo Radley to be physically absent from the narrator’s life until the very end of her novel.

A prime example of a mockingbird is Boo Radley. A mockingbird is a symbol of someone or something that is wrongly harmed by evils. Mr. Radley was an innocent little boy who was permanently damaged by an abusive father. Boo was somewhat of a rebel when he was an adolescent, always acting out perhaps because of his lacking of stability at home.   In addition to being emotionally absent in Boo’s life, going to work everyday caused his father to also be physically absent.

Mr. Radley is absent during most of the story. Lee doesn’t speak much of the bodily presence of Mr. Radley until the last few pages of the book. He is always spoken of but hardly about. Many events in the novel revolve around Mr. Radley’s existence.   When Jem touches Mr. Radley’s house, it is reinforced that Boo is a social misfit. We, as readers, are never given the story from Mr. Radley’s perspective until the very end of the novel. When Boo sits and talks to Scout, his years of physical absence from her life come to an end.

Even though he isn’t around, Boo...


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