Throughout the story of To Kill a Mockingbird, we have encountered various characters, including the enigmatic Boo Radley. Boo Radley is known for being extremely isolated and private. This has led the children in Maycomb to perceive him as a terrible individual, mainly because of the numerous rumors surrounding him. It is believed that Boo Radley was confined to his house for a period of fifteen years, and he has never been witnessed by anyone outside. According to hearsay, he supposedly roams the streets of Maycomb during the night and consumes squirrels and possums.
One day, Boo Radley was cutting newspapers when his father walked by. Without hesitation, Boo stabbed his father in the legs and continued cutting the newspaper as if nothing had happened. Due to Jem, Scout, and Dill’s limited understanding of Boo, they began to play games involving him. In chapter 4, we are introduced to one of these games where Dill, Scout, and Jem would act out the stories they had heard about Boo Radley. The game always started with Boo being sentenced to an industrial school but his father preventing him from going. It always concluded with Boo stabbing his father in the leg using a pair of scissors.
In chapter 4, Scout believes it would be a good idea to stop playing the game when Atticus arrives. Furthermore, Boo does make an effort to befriend Jem, Scout, and Dill. In the same chapter, Scout discovers gum under a tree, which will have significance in the story. Later on, it is revealed that it was Boo who left them gifts under the tree, including gum, Indian-headed pennies, a ball of twine, soap carvings resembling Jem and Scout, a spelling bee medal, and a pocket watch. This is explained in chapter 7.
In chapter 8, while Miss Maudie Atkinson’s house is burning down, someone drapes their blanket onto Scout’s shoulders. Jem realizes that it was Boo Radley who placed it on her and proceeds to reveal the whole story of the knothole, the presents, and the mended pants to Atticus. Atticus advises them to keep it a secret, as stated in chapter 8. When Scout realizes that it was Boo Radley who put the blanket on her, she is almost tempted to throw it. (39) The relationship between Boo and the children undergoes changes throughout the novel.
Initially, the children believe Boo to be a fearsome creature imprisoned in his own house. However, their perception starts to change as Boo starts leaving them gifts in the knot hole and covers Scout with a blanket during a fire at Miss Maudie’s house. Jem held negative feelings towards Boo for a significant portion of the beginning of the book. This is why Jem’s reaction on page 39 was intense when he discovered that Boo had given Scout the blanket.