To Kill a Mockingbird – Prejudice Against Boo Radley

The prejudice directed towards Boo Radley.

Boo Radley is the son of the Mr. and Mrs. Radley. When the Radley family first arrived in Maycomb, they kept mostly to themselves, which was “a predilection unforgiveable in Maycomb.” When Boo was younger, he got into some bad crowds and ended up being arrested with some other boys of the “gang.” His father got him off of the requirement of going to industrial school by telling the court that “Arthur [would give] no further trouble.” Arthur was never seen again for the next fifteen years. Fifteen years later, as told by Stephanie Crawford, Boo was cutting items from The Maycomb Tribune as his father walked by, at which time he thrust the scissors into Mr. Radley’s leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his leg, and returned back to his business. Mrs. Radley ran out screaming in the street saying that Arthur would kill them all, but when the local sheriff arrived, Boo was still cutting out the paper on the couch and he didn’t have the heart to lock him in jail with all the “negroes.” He was instead placed in the basement under the courthouse until Mr. Radley took him back. Although there are many theories on how his father keeps him inside, nobody really knows his secret.

Whenever there is a crime committed in Maycomb, the blame is always placed on the Radley family because they are different. Because of Boo’s past history, a prejudice has been placed against him. He has been accused of eating wild animals and being a “Peeping Tom”, although these stories have never been proven. Boo is also part of the Radley family, which acts as another “strike” against him. Many people in this story are in some way scared of the Radley household, especially of Arthur because of the stories that have been told about him. In my opinion, somebody needs to show some kindness towards the family and extend a helping hand. Then, maybe, the stories about Boo and his family will be discarded, and the truth can come out and show the city that the Radley family isn’t as bad as everybody really thinks it is.

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