to kill a mockingbird

What comparison can be made about Boo Radley and Scout Finch?


The biggest comparison between Boo Radley and Scout Finch has got to be that both of them are misunderstood and not accepted for who they are. For some reason, people believe the worst about each one of them. For example, Boo Radley is first depicted as an out-of-control youngster who must be locked away so he doesn't embarrass his father in chapter one. In much of the same way, Aunt Alexandra seems to think that Scout is out of control and needs to change so she won't embarrass the family name. 

"Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches. . . furthermore, I should be a ray of sunshine in my father's lonely life. . . but Aunty said that one had to behave like a sunbeam, that I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year" (81).

Another example is how Boo Radley reaches out to make friends with the kids by leaving gifts in the knothole of his tree; but Mr. Nathan Radley fills up the hole with cement and stops the practice. Likewise, Scout wants to invite a schoolmate, Walter Cunningham, to her house sometime and Aunt Alexandra says no "because he is trash" (225).

Boo Radley and Scout Finch are also prematurely judged on a specific incident that seems horrible at the time, but given an opportunity to explain, it would show a nobler reason for their behavior. For instance, Boo Radley stabbed his father in the leg with scissors and he is demonized for it around the community. If he had gotten an opportunity to explain himself, maybe he would have said it was in self-defense or in the name of something noble. The same thing happened to Scout at Christmas time when Francis called her father mean names. Scout punches him in the name of honor and her father, but Uncle Jack spanks and disciplines her without allowing her to defend her case first.

All of these instances show that Boo and Scout seem to have a lot in common. They are misjudged, mistreated at times, and misunderstood. They are probably the most genuine characters in the whole book, too, because they are never hypocritical. They might be misfits of sorts, but they are kindred spirits as well.

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