Life is like outer space, unknown and always changing. In the story To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee writes about the segregation, hate, and prejudice in a town called Maycomb. Tom Robinson, a black man, is accused of rape and doesn’t know what to expect. His attorney, Atticus Finch, an experienced, knowledgeable, and kind man, does his absolute best to defend him. However, the jury consists of all white males, most being racist and narrow-minded about the situation.
Boo Radley is a mysterious recluse who was known for being a delinquent as a teenager. Many people in Maycomb believed the fabrications made about Boo because he isolated himself, a predilection that was unacceptable in Maycomb (Lee 11). The town created a fictitious profile of Boo and misjudged him. In the beginning of the novel, Boo Radley was portrayed as a monster that sparked the interest of Scout and Jem as they made various attempts to try to get Boo to leave his house. As the novel progresses, Scout and Jem realized that “Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time … because he wants to stay inside" (Lee 304).
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a historical fiction novel told in the eyes of a young girl named Scout as her father, Atticus Finch , a lawyer in the 1950’s in Alabama, is burdened with the task of defending a black man, Tom Robinson, of harming a white girl, Mayella Ewell. “Caged Bird”
Harper Lee creates Boo Radley as one of the symbols in the story to represent an archetype of a kind soul who is neglected by society. The author uses Boo Radley as a disguised phantom to prove that underneath this disguise is a compassionate soul. Lee demonstrates this in the following quote: “Any stealthy small crimes committed in Maycomb were [Boo’s] work... A Negro would not pass the Radley Place at night…” (Harper Lee 10-11).
Arthur “Boo” Radley is a seemingly minor but subtly impactful character in Lee’s book. According to rumor, he joined a gang, was convicted of some relatively minor crime, and was supposed to be sent to a state boarding school, but his father refused. Boo once, while cutting up newspapers, stabbed his mother in the leg with scissors and continued calmly scanning the papers. His father convinced a judge not to send Boo to an asylum, so he was kept in his house, never seen again by the community, and became the source of horror stories for children. The flames of gossip are, as usual, fueled thoroughly by Miss Stephanie Crawford and tend to be ridiculously twisted: “Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were bloodstained” (16).
He is accountable for creating many themes as well affecting the actions and development of other characters. Furthermore, he plays a major role in the maturation of Jem and Scout. Jem, Scout, and Dill are fascinated by the rumors of Boo Radley around them. People in Maycomb perceive Boo as someone who, “dined on raw squirrels and cats” and “the teeth he had were yellow and rotten”(16). This quote shows the people’s impression of Boo and how they affect the childrens in the book.
In the town of Maycomb, the existing reality is easily altered by rumors that are generally accepted to be true until proven differently. Yet through a simple meeting, Scout Finch uncovered that Boo Radley was not the terrible man all the rumors had led people to believe. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the main lesson resides in the hazardous ease of believing rumors without evidence to contradict the theories. Boo Radley was simply a victim of untruthful
In addition to showing how the poor are trapped in the social codes and classes of society, the imprisonment throughout the book also shows how those who are perceived as “different” are also unable to escape from their roles. This group is represented by Arthur, or “Boo,” Radley. In the beginning of the book, Boo’s past is explained, including how he was locked in the courthouse basement for supposedly stabbing his father in the leg with scissors. Scout recalls the story, explaining that the sheriff “hadn’t the heart to put him in jail alongside Negroes, so Boo was locked in the courthouse basement” (14).
Maycomb, Alabama is a motionless community where life is still, those who were there, lived there for generations, rarely did anyone move into or out of this paralyzed town. The town follows the 1930s stereotypical lifestyle where racial discrimination is clearly visible, as proven in the Tom Robinson court case. In this quiet town, the only thing that seems out of the ordinary is the Radley Place, from the outside, the house appeared almost vacant with rarely any sound. The neighborhood children made horror stories about Boo Radley who never left his house, in fact, only Mr.Radley, Boo’s brother, occasionally came out of the deserted house. In To Kill a Mockingbird, various events happened that showed the courage of the community.
This essay aims to investigate the literary context of Harper Lee 's To Kill A Mockingbird (1960) from four different perspectives. The scope of this essay does not only include the context from historical, cultural and social points of views, but also the significance of Lee 's early life is considered. The essay explores deeply the novel 's events, characters and main themes, which can all be related to the literary context. This is why the research question of this essay is “A Study of Literary Context in Harper Lee 's To Kill A Mockingbird”.
In the book, To Kill A Mockingbird, the author Harper Lee shows that we shouldn’t be too quick to judge another person’s character based on outward appearance and the stories and rumors we have heard. The character Boo Radley is a perfect example of why we shouldn’t be hasty to judge. On the outside, Boo looks like a scary neighbor that lives just a few houses away. “.....he had sickly white hands that had never seen the sun. His face was as white as his hands…..”
In Maycomb, people fear what they do not know and what is unusual to them, hence shaping the rumours of Boo Radley to cope with the unknown. Considering he is unseen from the public eye, and has a messy past, many begin to fantasize what is happening with him currently by constructing stories. Anyone who claims that they know information on Boo, have no proof or firsthand experience to support it as the truth. Scout knows that Jem’s information source on Boo Radley is from another individual and their fantasies, “So Jem received most of his information from Miss Stephanie Crawford, a neighbourhood scold, who said she knew the whole thing.”
To Kill a Mockingbird is an important text worthy of all the recognition it received in the time following its original publication. A prime piece of fine American literature based in a period of extreme racial segregation and inequality. Set in a southern town of Maycomb Alabama during the depression, Lee follows three years of the life of eight-year-old Scout (Jean Louise) Finch and her older brother Jem (Jeremy) Finch as their father is, for three years, a fundamental figure in a case that had punctured the town as a result of the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man. As the years commence/continue, Scout and Jem, alongside the audience grow increasingly aware of prejudice throughout society as they learn the importance of perspective and being courageous when faced with adversity. By illustrating the influence of prejudice on society, Harper Lee challenges the perspectives of society, criticizing the nature of humankind to stereotype and be prejudice towards one another and in doing so, she successfully convinces the author to look beyond the facade society creates and locate the humanity that is concealed within everybody.
Lee uses Miss Gates’s ironic views of Hitler and Tom’s trial to show how racial prejudice causes crimes against African Americans to be considered less than crimes committed against white people. A mockingbird is then used to symbolize Tom Robinson as an innocent person wrongly convicted of a crime because of his skin color. The misunderstood characterization of Arthur Radley shows how society will let prejudice guide their imaginated view on the lives of people they don't understand. All three characters provide examples of how a preconceived opinion of one person or a whole race can cause drastic misunderstandings and
This family isn’t treated fairly because of the gossip which has been spread about them. Boo (formally Arthur) Radley is thought to be a terrible man who sneaks around at night, looking in neighbor’s windows, spying on everyone. Every crime committed in Maycomb is said to be Boo’s work. “People said he went out at night when the moon was down, and peeped in windows…”