Thursday, December 20, 2012

Essay Help: Symbolism (Boo Radley is the Mockingbird)- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


I have again gotten lazy and just provided the bodies.  


As a teenager, Arthur Radley, otherwise known as Boo Radley, and his friends get into some venial conflict with the law.  The judge decides to send the boys to the state industrial school.  However, Mr. Radley believed that the school was a prison and a humiliation to oneself.  Therefore, while the others were getting a good education Boo was being locked inside his house under the watch of Mr. Radley, never to be seen outside for quite some time.  Referring to Mr. Radley’s ill-treatment towards others, mostly Boo, Calpurnia says, “There goes the meanest man ever God blew breath into,” as his deceased body was taken away.  Contrary to most of the neighbors’ belief, once Mr. Radley passes away, Boo does not come out; however, Mr. Nathan Radley, Boo’s brother, takes over Mr. Radley’s job of keeping Boo confined in the house, and Boo remains a mockingbird that is innocent but still being hurt.
            Having never seen Boo in their life, the Finch children become curious as to who their mysterious neighbor is.  All that they know is inaccurate, absurd rumors from their neighbors in association with the image of him in their minds that they've created with their imagination.  When new friend Dill comes to stay for the summer, he too becomes fascinated with Boo Radley.  Giving a “reasonable” description of Boo, Jem states that, “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─ if you ate an animal raw you could never wash the blood off.” Being portrayed as a monster and scoundrel, Boo Radley is, again, symbolizing a mockingbird that has done no harm; yet others continue to give him wounds.
            Once summer comes around again, Dill comes back to Maycomb and the children begin to play their games.  Among one of their first activities, the children roll each other in an old tire.  During Scout’s turn, she rolls into the steps of the Radley house.  Scout and Jem begin to panic, grabbing the tire and hurrying from the house.  Afterwards, trying to show his bravery, Jem suggests, “I know what we are going to play.  Something new, something different.”  To this, Dill asks,” What?” and Jem responds, “Boo Radley,” a game where they perform the Radley’s life with much enthusiasm.  Nevertheless, Atticus finds out about the game and tells them not to play anymore, seeing that Boo Radley was being harmed by the children, who were doing it for fun, like a mockingbird being shot for recreational purposes. 

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