March 15 2017

Boo was our neighbor.

Tonight please finish reading  To Kill a Mockingbird.   Then write your response.  Please consider the following questions:

  • What passage or passages strike you as interesting or singular and why?
  • What questions do you want to discuss with the class tomorrow?
  • Why do you think these questions may generate interesting discussion?


Find great passages to discuss in class.

Mockingbird blog #12

Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.

Posted March 15, 2017 by equinson in category To Kill a Mockingbird

26 thoughts on “Boo was our neighbor.

  1. charlottes

    The end of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” was very interesting and answered all the unanswered questions. One quote that was particularly intriguing was at the end of chapter 30, stated by Heck Tate. The sheriff states, “To my way of thinkin’, Mr. Finch, taking the one man who’s done you and this town a great service and draggin’ him with his shy ways into the limelight-to me, that’s a sin.” (pages 369-370) This quote stated by Heck Tate is referring to Boo. He is trying to protect Boo by saying that Bob Ewell sat on the knife (because we all know that Boo killed Bob). Broken down, this quote means that taking someone who’s done a good deed for a community and pulling him and his quiet ways into the public attention is a sin. Boo doesn’t like having everyone pay attention to him and wants to go back into his house in the peace and quiet. Heck Tate sees this and is trying to protect this. Atticus does not see this. He only sees that facts and Heck Tate is trying to express this to him. On a different note, when Heck Tate talks about how it is a sin, Scout brings up the mockingbird. The author states, “Atticus disengaged himself and looked at me, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Well, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it?’” (page 370) When Atticus doesn’t understand this, he turns to Scout. And Scout explains it in a way that Atticus will understand. In this moment, we can see that Scout doesn’t need to change to become a lady. She is fine just the way she is. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.

  2. tarika1

    What interested me in these final chapters is good versus evil. Readers are met with foreshadowing throughout the chapter such as Cecil Jacobs scaring them. There is a overall sense of danger in the town after we see Bob Ewell lurking around town, and Toms murder. Then Jem and Scout hear something on their way back home and they think it is Cecil again. They realize it isn’t and are attacked. Boo Radley helps them get away, a person that they made out to be an ominous and scary figure of their childhood. This shows Atticus’ philosophy of everybody being somewhat good because the person they always thought of as scary saved them in time of danger.

    1. francescaa

      Definitely. It is crazy ho a person who Scout and Jem where so terrified of actually ended up saving their lives.

  3. caias1

    Something that struck me in chapter 28 was the theme of revenge. Bob Ewell had sworn revenge on Atticus for embarrassing him in the courtroom, and he took out his anger on his kids. He tried to ambush Jem and Scout as a way to take out his angry feelings about Atticus. Another interesting thing was the first ever appearance of Boo Radley. All their lives, both Jem and Scout always thought that Boo was an evil monster in his house, and he turned out to be a hero to Scout. He saved her and Jem from being killed by Bob Ewell.

  4. maddy

    A recurring tactic I observed through analyzing the denouement of “To Kill a Mockingbird” is foreshadowing. It can be found evident that Lee prefigured the tussle that transpired in chapter twenty-eight. Although Bob Ewell succeeded in wrongfully convicting Tom Robinson of raping his daughter Mayella, numerous occurrences depicted that he remained discontent, including those subsequent to Tom being shot. Such occurrences comprise Bob jeering at Helen Robinson as she made her way to her place of employment, and the post office scene in which Bob expectorated in Atticus’ face whilst lividly spewing rampant threats. The incident involving Atticus transpired subsequent to Tom being convicted, and the incident involving Helen additionally transpired subsequent to Tom being shot. Personally, I was rather perplexed as to why Bob was induced to initiate such incidents. Bob’s general objectives were to have Tom convicted and dead, and this privileged man succeeded in achieving such objectives. Atticus’ reasoning for Bob remaining unsatisfied lessened my state of perplexity, however. This reasoning is that although Bob won the court case against Tom, he was knowledgeable that the vast majority of Maycomb did not regard his testimonies to be true. Bob was additionally knowledgeable that the county now regarded him as a drunkard who abuses children and would sink so low as to falsely accuse a black man in order to exonerate himself of consequences. Such knowledge had the probable potential of inciting anger and embarrassment within a man of Bob’s nature, eliciting more than enough emotion causing him to act out. As Aunt Alexandra inputted on page three hundred and thirty-five, “‘That man [Bob] seems to have a permanent running grudge against everybody connected with that case.’” Indeed Bob did. He threatened Atticus with murder, stalked and jarred at Helen, then cut Judge Taylor’s screen door. Given how much audacity Bob had to incite such occurrences, it was only a matter of time until Jem and Scout were to become his next targets. A man like Bob is one to keep his word. On page two hundred and ninety, Bob truly meant to “…get him [Atticus] if it took the rest of his life.” I regard this excerpt to be highly ironic and more indicative than it entails due to Bob dying because he attempted to harm Atticus’ children. Bob risked and lost his life in order to do so, which depicts how greatly the Tom Robinson trial impacted him.

  5. ilyssal

    As I wrapped up my reading of “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, I noticed several themes that recurred throughout the novel. One theme being innocence and the mindset of a child. At the beginning of this novel, Scout was a very young girl who was definitely not the typical girly girl. Scout grew up wanting to be nothing like the other girls from her time. She wanted to be able to do what boys did and not be judged for it. Gender roles meant nothing to Scout. This was an important message for Scout especially as a young child. She was not impacted at all by societies views and that showed her innocence as a younger child. The older adults in the county have different views on society than the younger kids.

  6. arihantp1

    In the last few chapters of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” many questions were answered. But what surprised me the most was how Bob Ewell reacted to the court case. Bob Ewell was publicly humiliated by Atticus, and in response to it he went after everyone who opposed him in the case, indirectly. Bob Ewell goes after Helen, the cook of Link Dea, but stops when Link Dea threatens to take him to court. However, he draws the line when he tries to murder both of Atticus’ children. Bob Ewell was never respectable to begin with, but when he assaults and tries to murder two children, he has completely ruined his reputation and image. It was surprising how low Bob Ewell was willing to go to get revenge on Atticus for doing his job and trying to uphold justice in Maycomb County.

  7. francescaa

    As we conclude our reading of To Kill A Mockingbird I realized how carefully crafted the book truly is. Even the smallest details eventually impacted the final outcome of the novel. For example, the roots under the oak tree. Since it was pitch dark outside, Scout’s and Jem’s vision was reduced the basically nothing. On the way to the school Scout tripped on one, and Jem told her to look down and pay attention to where she was going. As a first time reader, I was definitely not expecting this to have such a big impact on the story. However, that little tree root made all the difference. It was the root that killed Bob Ewell, and without it the kids wouldn’t have lived.

    The subject of Mockingbirds and birds in general was a repeating theme in the final chapters as well. Scout said she understood why Mr. Ewell died because “it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it?” (p. 370). Earlier in the novel the reader was told that it was a sin to kill a mockingbird since they never did any harm. When Scout said this it made me wonder who exactly the mockingbird was. Was it Tom Robinson or Scout and Jem? I also noticed that the book Atticus was reading to Jem was by Seckatary Hawkins. Harper Lee incorporated yet another bird name in this book.

    Although I wouldn’t consider this book as one of my personal favorites, I do appreciate how Harper Lee forced the reader to pay attention to little details and ended the book on good note.

  8. Tyler Newby

    I was very surprised about Bob Ewell’s reaction to the court case in tonight’s reading. I felt that Ewell would have been proud of himself for winning the case, but since he was humiliated during the case, he felt he needed to take out his anger on others. He murdered Tom Robinson, followed Link Deas’ cook Helen, and tried to murder Atticuss’ children. It is surprising that Ewell sank to this level. He was not respectable, but one would think he had a slight amount of decency.

  9. ivanl

    Something I found very interesting in the reading tonight is the transformation of Boo Radley from what we had thought of him from the beginning of the novel. In the beginning, Jem and Scout believed that Boo was a terrible person, eating animals raw and doing other horrendous things no sane person would do. However, this was only by rumor, since they had never actually seen Boo in person and seen what he had even looked like to begin with. Boo ends up saving Jem and Scout from being killed by Mr.Ewell an act of revenge on Atticus. After the incident, they all sit together and talk about what had happened, and Scout escorts Boo home. Before being saved, Scout had been terrified of Boo, scared of the mere action of being given a blanket by him during the fire. It is very interesting how Harper brings out this mysterious character at the very end to save Jem and Scout.

  10. briannag3

    Upon finishing To Kill A Mockingbird I found it slightly ironic how Jem and Scout’s view of Boo Radley was turned around from beginning to end. First they assumed that he was an awful guy, someone who hunted and ate squirrels raw and stabbing his dad in the leg with scissors. They thought he was crazy. But they didn’t know the truth. What they knew about him were only rumors created by Miss Stephanie and they blindly believed her. Almost like how the narrator of Ethan Frome believed everything the people of Starkfield told him about Ethan without a question of evidence. And then at the end of the novel Jem and Scout discover that it was Boo Radley that saved them from being killed by Mr. Ewell. At the start of the novel they were terrified of him, every time they passed the Radley house they would run and they were even afraid of going as far as the front gate. But now their view is turned around. They are now aware that he’s actually a good person and not a monster.

  11. alexo

    I wonder why no one thought that Arthur had been the one to break into Judge Taylor’s house. When I read about the Taylor house breakin, my mind immediately jumped to Arthur. I suppose that he was just so forgotten that nobody gave it a thought.

    Other else than that, Chapter 28 went completely how I didn’t expect it to. I thought the man in the shadows was Arthur, and that we would finally meet with him face to face. Of course, when the person in the shadows started running at them, I knew it wasn’t him, but right up until them I was getting ready to finally meet the most mysterious figure of the book.

  12. adam

    After finishing the novel, I have come to a realization of how dynamic the book is, and the precise details put into the novel. There are many changes and actions that deeply effect the meaning of the book. For example, the interpretation of Boo Radley changes substantially. He at first was viewed as a lunatic and freak, but realized he is not and behind all the rumors is a good person. There are also many plot changes and factors that all work as a function to play a role in the book. I also realized that a theme shown is that rumors do not tell anything about one’s personality, and that a book cannot be judged by its cover. This comes into effect both with Boo Radley and the court case, in which there were many assumptions. This book was very well constructed and crafted.

  13. margauxc

    Atticus Finch once told his children, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Jeremy Finch, the elder of the two children, seemed to be the first to truly take Atticus’ words to heart. Throughout the novel, Scout attempts and struggles to practice her father’s advice, with her attempting to take into account situations from both the Cunninghams or the Ewells’ perspectives. Yet, Harper Lee concludes her literary classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, with Jean Louise Finch narrating all the significant parts of her childhood in Arthur Radley’s perspective- “It was summertime, and two children scampered down the sidewalk toward a man approaching in the distance. The man waved, and the children raced each other to him. It was still summertime, and the children came closer. A boy trudged down the sidewalk dragging a fishing pole behind him. A man stood waiting with his hands on his hips. Summertime, and his children played in the front yard with their friend, enacting a strange little drama of their own invention. It was fall, and his children fought on the sidewalk in front of Mrs. Dubose’s. . . . Fall, and his children trotted to and fro around the corner, the day’s woes and triumphs on their faces. They stopped at an oak tree, delighted, puzzled, apprehensive. Winter, and his children shivered at the front gate, silhouetted against a blazing house. Winter, and a man walked into the street, dropped his glasses, and shot a dog. Summer, and he watched his children’s heart break. Autumn again, and Boo’s children needed him. Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.” (pgs. 373- 374). The presence of the scene provides a fulfilling ending to Scout’s character development arch and leaves the reader feeling content about the web which Harper Lee wove.

  14. willowm

    I was very shocked by the fact that Bob Ewell tried to kill Jem and Scout. They were both kids and they couldn’t help what their father was doing, even if they happened to agree with it. Also, if he made the whole case up for positive attention, then why would he go and do something as horrible as this? He would be thee obvious subject had he been able to escape with his life after word got around that he threatened Atticus. I liked that Harper Lee made Boo Radley the one who saved them because it is a great example of how “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb in his skin and walk around in it.” Scout and Jem were always scared of Boo, but in the end he was the hero.

  15. cameronl3

    Out of the entire story, I was most surprised at the attempt of murder by Bob Ewell towards Jem and Scout. Although Bob must have had real hate to do such a thing, I still find it shocking due to that they are just kids, and have no control towards Atticus, their own father’s, control. I feel that Bob would be just a bit happy with himself since he won the case, but instead, he was upset at the fact that he was humiliated, and needed to find a way to vent out his anger and revenge. He murdered Tom, and almost ended up murdering Atticus’ children. But after being saved, Scout ends up entering Boo Radley’s house, which was another exciting event towards the end of the novel.

  16. avae1

    After concluding my reading of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” I noticed a reoccurring theme of perspective and judgement. Atticus told his children repeatedly to never judge a person before you walk around in his shoes. He advised them to really get to know a person before you start spreading rumors, because otherwise it would not be accurate and unfair. However, throughout the novel Scout and Jem did not act this way towards Boo Radley. They heard various foul rumors about him and they believed them, and became apprehensive of him. Although, as the story came to an end, Scout was standing on the Radley porch and felt a whole new perspective on her world in Maycomb. “I turned to go home. Street lights winked down the street all the way to town. I had never seen our neighborhood from this angle.”(p.373) This is true for the neighborhood but also for Boo Radley. Within one whole day Boo Radley had changed from being an unsocial fright to a friend of Scout’s and a man who saved her life. Her view on Boo Radley has definitely altered and she will never look at him the same.

  17. George

    In this blog I would like to build on my topic that I blogged about yesterday. The topic was loss of innocence. This can also be descibed as growing up. We can see this more in Jem then in Scout. We can see at the beginning of the book Jem playing childish games right along with Scout. Then we see him realise that he has chest hair and the beginning of puberty. Then we see at the end of the case Jem being really angry and disappointed because they lost they lost the case. This shows that Jem os old enough to think for himself and formulate his own opinions. Compared to Scout who is notably nonchalant about the loss of the case. This is because she isn’t old enought to understand the weight of the desition that was made that day.

  18. marinas1

    Before we even began reading “To Kill A Mockingbird” Ms. Quinson told us to write an entry on the aspects of being a hero. After writing this entry, she immediately told us that Atticus is regarded as one of the many great American literary heroes. Before concluding my reading of this novel, I thought I knew what she meant. For example, Atticus is simply the most kind-hearted and pious man in all of Maycomb. After all, he tries to save a black man from being put into jail, and says phrases such as “‘I try to love all people'”, one that truly sets him apart from most of the Negro-hating whites presiding in the town of Maycomb. However, after concluding “To Kill A Mockingbird”, I have a firmer grasp of what Ms. Quinson meant at the start of the unit. When talking to Heck Tate about how he does not want to cover up Jem (supposedly) killing Bob Ewell, Atticus declares “‘Heck, can’t you even try to see it my way? You’ve got children of your own, but I’m older than you. When mine are grown I’ll be an old man if I’m still around, but right now I’m-if they don’t trust me then they won’t trust anybody. Jem and Scout know what happened. If they hear of me saying downtown something different happened-Heck, I won’t have them any more. I can’t live one way in town and another way in my home.'” (p.367) Previosly in the novel, Atticus’s relationship with his children was said to be one of affectionate detachment. However, in this quote, we see a different side of Atticus. In this quote, we see him as primarily caring about his children and wanting himself to be the role model they look up to every day. If he doesn’t speak what he believes is the truth, then they will see him as something he is not (a liar), and will never look up to him again. Through this, we see a valnurability that has certaintly never been shown by Atticus before. His yearning to be a great parent is one way we can see him as a hero. He cares for his children more than he cares about anything else, and will do anything for them. In addition, in this quotation Atticus mentions the duality that Ms. Quinson has repeated time and time again in English class. He says “‘I can’t live one way in town and another way in my home.'” So many other people in the novel act two different ways; their personality and actions at home and their personality and actions in society. For example, Clapurnia speaks clean English when she is at the Finch home, but when she is at church, she speaks broken English. Dolphins Raymond is incredibly down to earth when he is around people he trusts, but when he is in society among the many, he puts on a facade of drunkedness. Atticus doesn’t want to be two different people. He wants to be himself in every situation that is brought upon him. Again, he can be seen as a hero, for he is unapologetically fearless about who he is, what he believes in, and how he acts. Now, I as well see Atticus as a great literary hero, just as noble as Sirius Black himself.

  19. kat

    The title of the book is “To Kill A Mockingbird”. I believe that this is because of Tom. In the book it has been said that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird because all it does is sing, it doesn’t cause any harm. I believe that Tom is the mockingbird. He is innocent and never hurt anyone, but still is hunted. When we are told about Toms death there is a direct connection. They did not come out and say the word mockingbird but it is implied. “a sin to kill cripples…He likened Tom’s death to be the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children” (p.323). As we have pointed out in class there seem to be a lot of birds in this novel. Later on a mockingbird is “pouring out his repertoire in blissful unawareness of whose tree he sat in” (p.342). If Tom symbolizes the mockingbird then maybe he is watching over Scout and Jem in this scary area. Over all I believe that Mockingbirds are symbolic of innocence, and possibly Tom.

  20. eshap

    After I finished the novel To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, I was intrigued by how she ended the book. It seems quite unfinished, as it abruptly stops with Scout falling asleep and Jem still unconscious. She gave us many questions in the beginning of the novel, and answered all or most of them by the end. The main one being what Arthur Radley was like. Not only did Scout see Mr. Arthur, but he was the one who saved them. He appears in the novel for one scene, although an important one, when Scout is shocked from what happened. After walking him home, Scout never sees Mr. Arthur again. Furthermore, the way Atticus read the book to Scout showed that he knew she was mature and growing up. At first, he didn’t want to read the book out loud because he thought she would find it scary. However, Scout surprises him by saying she wasn’t scared that night, the only things scary are in books. As Scout fell asleep, Atticus went and put her in her room, showing that he cared even more. Scout thought Atticus would feel like he read the book and she didn’t listen, and so she began to recite what happened while she was half-asleep. I found this interesting for the fact that Scout managed to recite what happened even though she was tired. Why did she tell the story over again? Was it so Atticus could see that she could pay attention to what goes on? I think Scout wanted to prove that she could handle the book after what happened that night. In addition, Atticus mentioned to Mr. Heck Tate before that he thought he wasn’t a good parent. He is the only one Scout and Jem has, and tries his best, but doesn’t think he comes off as fatherly. He explains that he doesn’t want his children to see him with two different personalities by being the same at home and in public. Although he thinks he is not a good father, Atticus reads the book to Scout, even though he thought it would be too scary for her, helps her to her room, and stays with Jem all night. Atticus staying with Jem shows how much he cares, he wants to be there for his son once he wakes up. Jem would think that Atticus cares for him if he saw him sitting beside him as he woke up.

  21. laurena2

    In the last chapters of To Kill A Mockingbird, I found it strange how the roles of many characters switched. The children viewed Boo Radley as an evil monster, however he really ended up saving their lives. Bob Ewell, a man that was thought to just be against African Americans was the man that Boo Radley was described as. Bob Ewell was the real monster who tried to kill Scout and Jem for actions they did not do. This goes to show that we really should get to know somebody before we judge them.

  22. faithw

    Something I found interesting during the last chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird, was how the characters opinions about Arthur Radley evolved. Because Arthur lived as a recluse, the children of Maycomb began to spread rumors as to who he was and why he never left his house. The rumors transformed into detailed stories. The boy who stayed at home was no longer known as Arthur Radley, yet as Boo. The gossip had transformed an innocent man into an evil monster. In fact, during the first description of Boo, Scout states: “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. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time.”

    I found this quotation very fascinating because towards the end of the novel, Scout’s opinions of Boo changed dramatically. On the final page of the novel, Scout took Atticus’ advice and walked a mile in Boo’s shoes. Because of this, Scout realized that Boo was the opposite of the monster she originally thought he was. Boo was a kind, warm-hearted man. “An’ they chased him ‘n’ never could catch him ’cause they didn’t know what he looked like, an’ Atticus, when they finally saw him, why he hadn’t done any of those things… Atticus, he was real nice….Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them” (p.376).

  23. christophert3

    Many things happened over the course of the ending of this novel. I have many questions too. But starting with one thing, I thought that in the end, when trying to figure out who killed Bob Ewell, it was ironic that Atticus was the one saying Jem, his son, killed Bob Ewell while Heck Tate was arguing against that. I would also like to say that it was very intriguing how Harper Lee sort of indirectly sums up all of the chapters’ important parts in a page or so through Scout looking from Boo Radley’s point of view. It gives you an idea of how Boo Radley felt a connection with Scout and Jem. Finally, there i s one question I would like to ask that is the most confusing for me. Why does Harper Lee consider her novel, according to the back of it, “a simple love story”?

  24. alekhya

    I thought the way Harper Lee ended the story was very symbolic and very, very touching. Until the very end Scout is still the naive, imaginative little girl and Atticus is still her kind loving guardian. At the end of the novel, Atticus says that most people are nice once you see them for who they are. In this one can relate to Scout’s view of Boo Radley, but also Mr. Raymond. mr. Raymond at first seems like a drunk man who lives with negroes under the influence of alcohol. but once Scout sees him for who he is she respects and admires him. I also thought it was very cute how Atticus puts on Scout’s pajamas, as it reminded me of how my own parents would wake me up and half drag me to my room, where they would change my clothes and tuck me in the same way Atticus does for Scout.

  25. Rebecca F

    Then ending of To Kill a Mockingbird was incredibly written. The story of Boo Radley echoes that of The Gray Ghost. When Scout mentions that he was real nice once the people had seen him, I originally thought she was referring to the character in The Gray Ghost. Upon realizing that she was speaking of Boo Radley, I was amazed to see how true Scout’s have delirious statements were. In her sleepy state of mind, Scout almost perfectly sums up the predicament of Boo Radley and how he never leaves the house.
    Without ever having Boo say or do anything, except through the retelling of others, Harper Lee manages to characterize him extraordinarily well, giving him character and morals.


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