To Kill a Mockingbird Quote Analysis

Reading Log: To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapters 5-7 “Then I saw the shadow…the shadow of a man with a hat on…the shadow, crisp and toast moved across the porch towards Jem.. When it crossed Jem… he went rigid. ” (53) The context of this quote is during their sneaky trip to Boo Radley’s house. This was the last day Dill was going to stay in Maycomb for this year, so they decided to take a quick peek at Radley Place by creeping around the house and looking through the side windows. As they are take a quick peek, the see the shadow of what they think is Boo with a hat on. They go numb with fear, and run for it.
As they are leaving the area from under a fence, they hear a shotgun go off from Radley Place. The quote of narration from Scout accurately describes the kind of fear that the neighborhood legends give to the kids. The description, “ He (Jem) put his arms over his head and went rigid” (53), shows how bloated up of a character Boo Radley is. They do not even know if this shadow is Boo, however they are frozen with fear. However, after this event occurs, the little gifts that begin to appear in the tree leads the reader to make an educated guess that it is Boo Radley who is constantly giving these gifts.
Since they used deductive reasoning to believe that it couldn’t have been Miss Maudie or any other person in Maycomb, they only other person in their neighborhood that came to mind was Boo Radley. Also, to enforce their conclusion that it was Boo Radley who was giving the gifts was when Nathan Radley cemented the hole in the tree. The series of gifts ending up in the tree molded Boo’s character into a more human-like personality. Miss. Maudie also told Scout that Boo used to be a nice boy who only became supposedly “insane” because of his family.

She stated that Boo’s family was extremely religious and drove Boo insane when his father was constantly obsessed with “sin”. Scout now has more sympathy for Boo, who is now a poor man who was abused as child, rather than a freak of nature who eats squirrels. Boo symbolizes the growth of Scout more mature perspective of the world. The quote represents Scouts (as well as Jem’s and Dill’s) childish mentality, and sets the framework for Scouts growth of maturity. I have a story that is eerily similar to this one. Several blocks down, we had a lady who never came out of the house.
The legend in our townhome complex was that two of the kids only saw her face once, and she yelled at them the moment she saw them. She also supposedly looked like a witch, which was definitely a credible description for us 8 year-olds. Soon enough, we set out to see her face once more. The whole pack of us, about 6 people, stood in front of her house while one of us rang the doorbell several times consecutively to bait her out of her house. As we starting sprinting for our lives, we heard the loudest yelling we had ever heard.
Our fear of her had spiked up exponentially. But obviously, we needed to this again tomorrow. Same plan, same time, and we went underway. However, this time, we decided to hide behind some bushes adjacent to her house. Fifteen seconds later, she came out in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank beneath her. Our fear had turned to shame and sympathy immediately. The lie of her looking like a witch represents the legends of Boo having fangs and eating cats, and the sympathy we had for this lady in her wheelchair represents Boo having an abusive family as a child.

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