Is Boo a Monster?

By Christian C., 7th Grade

May 2020

People fear sharks because they don’t know much about them.  People think that sharks are ruthless human killers because the thing that most people know about sharks is that they have big teeth.  When in reality, 8 people die by sharks each year.  Also, if sharks wanted to kill people, they would go to the beaches in Florida because millions of people are there. The only thing that sharks intend to do is eat sick fish to stop outbreaks in the ocean. Similarly, in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Boo is abused and misunderstood because people don’t know much about him.  The only news that is heard about him is that he stabbed his father with scissors and got locked up in the courthouse cellar.  Even though Boo is abused and misunderstood, he still has some courage in him.

Boo Radley is abused by his father who prevents him from having contact with the outside world, even if that contact is miniscule.  Boo’s father is a foot washing baptist that believes that anything that is a pleasure is a sin. So, Boo hanging out with the “gang” which is a pleasure to Boo is a sin to Arthur Radley.  Arthur Radley then locks Boo up in his house for the rest of his life.  This example demonstrates that Boo is forced to live the rest of his life in Arthur’s house for no good reason.   This is abuse because Boo getting locked up stunts his mental growth and his education.  Also, Boo can’t have normal relationships with people because he is locked in a house.  Arthur Radley is anti-happiness, so he fills up Boo’s knothole with concrete, so Boo can’t give gifts and have a friendship with Scout and Jem.   Arthur Radley is so intent on keeping Boo sad, isolated and locked up that he will stop Boo from doing a simple act of kindness that is giving a child a trinket.  

Because Boo’s father locked him up, no one knows anything about Boo and they end up making rumors about him.  There are a lot of rumors circulating the Radley place such as their “deadly” pecans that will kill anyone that eats them and that Boo killed a lot of household pets and chickens, even though crazy Eddie was guilty of this act.  Boo is misunderstood here because this would be impossible  to make the pecans lethal or dangerous.  Also, crazy Eddie butchering animals was caused by Eddie not Boo. The reason people think of Boo committing these crimes  is they don’t know what he does in his free time. By the same token, Jem thinks that Boo looks like some crazy mutated figure that has blood stained hands and crooked, yellow teeth. In reality Boo just looks malnourished, skinny, and very tall.  Jem’s philosophy of Boo is based on gossip and rumours. Fear and mystery cause Jem to think of Boo as a monster.

Though others think of Boo as a monster, Boo is actually a courageous person that gives Scout a blanket and cares for her and saves them from a real monster, Bob Ewell!  When Miss Maddie’s house burns down, Jem and Scout are watching the blaze  and Boo leaves a gift for Scout  “you were so busy looking at the fire you didn’t know it when he put the blanket around you.” Boo will sneak out of his house to do something kind but he will only do it if no one is looking.  Boo is courageous because if he was seen Boo would lose his solitude and also be abused by his father for going out and such.  When Bob Ewell attacks the children in the night, Boo comes and kills Bob and carries Jem back to Atticus.  Boo is a very pale man  with a very famished look.  Boo leaves the safety of his house to go save Jem and Scout because he has made friends with them.  Boo is a shy person and it shows on his features and his body.  Boo’s courage is very brave because if he was caught saving Jem, Boo would never have peace and seclusion. Boo would never have peace because all of the women of Maycomb would come knocking and giving him gifts and such.

First, Boo is abused by his father locking him up in his house.  Also, Boo has rumors about him that he is a  monster that poisons nuts and kills chickens at night.  Finally, when Boo puts the blanket on Scout, that takes a lot of courage because if Boo was seen, people would come to his door. Boo also does an act of courage when he saves Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell.  It means a lot to go out of your hidey hole to do a very brave act even if it means that you will be abused when you go home.  The book teaches us that even the most abused and socially distant people can have some kindness and courage in them.