To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely an excellent novel in that it portrays life and
the role of racism in the 1930's. A reader may not interpret several aspects in and of the
book through just the plain text. Boo Radley, Atticus, and the title represent three such
things.
Not really disclosed to the reader until the end of the book, Arthur "Boo"
Radley plays an important role in the development of both Scout and Jem. In the
beginning of the story, Jem, Scout, and Dill fabricated horror stories about Boo. They
find Boo as a character of their amusement, and one who has no feelings whatsoever.
They tried to get a peep at him, just to see what Boo looked like. Scout connects Boo
with the Mockingbird. Mrs. Maudie defines a mockingbird as one who "don't do one
thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in
corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us" (94). Boo is exactly
that. Boo is the person who put a blanket around Scout and Jem when it was cold. Boo
was the one putting "gifts" in the tree. Boo even sewed up Jem's pant that tore on Dill's
last night. Boo was the one who saved their lives. On the contrary to Scout's primary
belief, Boo never harms anyone. Scout also realizes that she wrongfully treated Boo
when she thinks about the gifts in the tree. She never gave anything back to Boo, except
love at the end. When Scout escorts Arthur home and stands on his front porch, she sees
the same street she saw, just from an entirely different perspective. Scout learns what
a Mockingbird is, and who represents one.
Arthur Radley not only plays an important role in developing Scout and Jem,
but also helps in developing the novel. Boo can be divided into three stages. Primitively,
Boo is Scout's worst nightmare. However, the author hints at Boo actually existing as a
nice person when he places things in the tree. The secondary stage is when Mrs.
Maudie's house burned to the ground. As Scout and Jem were standing near Boo's
house, it must have been rather cold. So, Boo places a warm and snug blanket around
Scout and Jem, to keep them warm. This scene shows Boo's more sensitive and caring
side of him, and shows that he really has changed after stabbing his father. The last and
definitely most important stage is when he kills Bob Ewell to save Scout and Jem. This
stage portrays Boo as the hero and one who has indefinitely changed his personality and
attitudes. After the final stage, Boo does not deserve to be locked up inside his house.
Atticus Finch is a man of strong morals. He follows them exclusively, and does not
hold up to the Finch family name, as defined by Aunt Alexandria. Atticus is the most
pure and good-hearted person one may ever see. Although it does not seem like it, Scout
will evolve into her father; Jem will not. Scout finally understands all the things he says.
For example, in the beginning Atticus tells Scout, "You never really understand a person
until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk a
round in it" (34). She then realizes that Mrs. Caroline did not know Maycomb, and could
not just learn it in one day. Scout comes to terms that it was wrong to become upset with
Mrs. Caroline. Scout learns several other lessons. For example, on page 94, Atticus
says his most important line in the book, "…remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
Through clarifications from Mrs. Maudie, Scout accepts her father's words. Atticus also
teaches his kids a lesson when he defends Tom Robinson, an innocent black person.
Although Atticus knew, from the instant he accepted the case, that Tom had no chance,
he had to do his duty as an honest and impartial citizen of Maycomb. Atticus poured his
heart into defending Tom, and did a damn fine job. He taught his kids the right thing,
that all individuals are created equal. If Aunt Alexandria had raised Scout and Jem, hey
might have not cried at the