Why Is Boo Radley Innocent

1118 Words5 Pages
Mockingbirds are a symbol of innocence, because they don’t harm anyone and only create music for people to enjoy. A central idea in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird, or to harm the innocent. The book is set in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930s, narrated by the main character Jean Louise “Scout” Finch as an adult, looking back on her childhood. Many characters in the book can be represented by the mockingbird, facing racism, injustice, or prejudice despite their innocence. However, the most innocent mockingbird in the novel is Arthur “Boo” Radley because he is gentle and kind, giving gifts to Scout and her brother Jem, saving the children when they were attacked by Bob Ewell, and was ostracized…show more content…
According to Miss Stephanie Crawford, “As Mr. Radley passed by, Boo drove the scissors into his father’s leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activities”(13). This shows Boo harming another person for no reason, implying that he is not innocent. However, the information comes from Miss Stephanie, who is known to be unreliable, and it is strongly implied that Boo Radley’s father was abusive. Miss Maudie said, “If he’s not [crazy] he should be by now. The things that happen to people we never really know. What happens in houses behind closed doors, what secrets–,” suggesting that Mr. Radley abused him (61). This would be another example of “killing a mockingbird”, because Boo’s father harmed Boo, who was a nice and polite child, according to Miss Maudie. Stabbing Mr. Radley was a result of the isolation and maltreatment Boo had gone through. Boo is not actually a violent person; he only killed Bob Ewell to save the children, and likewise he may have stabbed his father not out of villainy, but because Boo had been harmed by him. Despite likely being subject to abuse, Boo Radley remains a good person who protects and cares for Jem and Scout, making him a
Open Document