Boo Radley Quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is a critically acclaimed American novel. The book was published in 1960. It was instantly successful. This is one of the most commonly read books in North America.

Boo Radley is one of the main characters in this novel. He is a neighbor of the “Finch Family.” The storyline circulates around rumours that people have created pertaining to Boo.

Interestingly, Boo is more of a “ghost” character rather than an actual one. In fact, he only speaks once throughout the entire novel. However, he definitely leaves an impression on readers.

To Kill a Mockingbird has received international praise over the past 60 years. It is has become an essential book to read. 

This novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. This solidified its role as a classic of American literature. 

To Kill a Mockingbird identifies serious issues in society. For instance, topics of race inequality, prejudice, lying, and the law are brought up. The book is intended to get readers to truly think about about these issues. 

Scott Finch, who is a child, narrates the book. However, it is apparent that Scout tells the story many years after the events have taken place. This is due to the sophisticated vocabulary used.

This book is unique because it explores heavy topics during a child’s formative years. It is a coming-of-age story integrated with serious societal issues. The author, Harper Lee, blends these two seamlessly.

Quotes About Boo Radley

1.) “The Radleys, welcome anywhere in town, kept to themselves, a predilection unforgivable in Maycomb.”

Boo Radley and his father weren’t necessarily welcome anywhere. This book takes place in a small fictional city called Maycomb. This place is “unforgivable.” Therefore, the family prefers to stay at home. It is one of the most notable quotes about Boo Radley and his family.

2.) “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.”

This is a description of Boo Radley. It comes from an innocent place. This is how the children see him at the beginning of the novel. It also sets the precedent on how readers will perceive him. It is one of the most unpleasant quotes about Boo Radley in the novel.

3. Miss Stephanie Crawford said she woke up in the middle of the night one time and saw him looking straight through the window at her … said his head was like a skull lookin’ at her.

Many people in town spread rumours about Boo Radley. Miss Stephanie Crawford is one of those people. This shows how cruel and judgmental people can be without getting to know someone.

4.) Mind his own business and let the Radleys mind theirs, they had a right to.

This quote was said by Atticus Finch. He is the father in this novel. Furthermore, he is also an attorney. He is known as being the voice of reason. He is definitely a great role model to the kids.

5.) Arthur Radley just stays in the house, that’s all … Wouldn’t you stay in the house if you didn’t want to come out?

This quote is said by Miss Maudie. She is the Finches’ neighbor. She is known for her quick wit and sharp tongue. This quote exemplifies that level-headed people understand Boo Radley. It is one of the more positive quotes about Boo Radley.

6.) Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time . . . it’s because he wants to stay inside.

This quote is said by Jem Finch. Jem is Scout’s brother. This quote exemplifies maturity among the two children.

7.) First of all, if you learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. 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.

This, again, is a quote by Atticus Finch. It shows his character and how great of a father he is. He ensures that his children are understanding. 

8.)  I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.

One of Atticus’ most important values is courage. He made it clear that his children understood this.

9.) But I never figured out how Atticus knew I was listening, and it was not until many years later that I realized he wanted me to hear every word he said.

This was a reflective quote by Scout. This exemplifies understanding on Scout’s part. She was stating her understanding of what Atticus wanted her to learn.

10.) So many things had happened to us, Boo Radley was the least of our fears.

This was another quote by Scout. Initially, both children were terrified of Boo Radley. However, he ended up being one of their best lessons. This is one of those quotes about Boo Radley that show no reason to ever fear him.

11.) Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ʼem, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.

This quote is symbolic of the entire novel. It means that you should never hurt something that is innocent and harmless. 

12.) Mockingbirds 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. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.

This quote further explains the previous one. Creatures that do no harm should not be targeted. 

13.) His lips parted into a timid smile, and our neighbor’s image blurred with my sudden tears.

This quote is when Scot meets Boo Radley for the first time. She is overcome with emotion when she reflects on this. This is symbolic of a pure moment.

14.) Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives.

This quote shows Boo Radley’s kindness and how big his heart is. The last thing “our lives” is stated nonchalantly. This is for dramatic effect.

15.) People generally see what they look for and hear what they listen for.

This is a huge theme for To Kill a Mockingbird. It means that people perceive things how they want to.

16.) “When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness’ sake. But don’t make a production of it.”

This is the idea that parents should always answer the questions children ask. Children shouldn’t be seen as ignorant bystanders to life.

17.) “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win” 

Even if you start late there’s no reason to give up. Everyone should try no matter where they start.

18.) “They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

This quote means that you should respect everyone’s opinions. However, you should also stay true to yourself.


“Atticus, he was real nice”

“Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”

This is a conversation between Atticus and Scout. Atticus is teaching Scout that people are generally good by nature.

20.) “I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”

We shouldn’t have an “us vs. them” mentality. Everyone is human at the end of this. It is important to remember this.

Boo Radley Quotes

Will you take me home?”

This is actually the only quote that Boo Radley says throughout the book. It is symbolic of his character. Boo Radley feels safest at home. He has no interest in joining society.

Boo Radley only ventured outdoors to help the Finch children. This demonstrates his genuine nature and character. However, he feels protected at home.

Frequently Asked Questions about Boo Radley

What was wrong with Boo Radley?

Boo Radley is a mysterious character throughout this novel. Although Scout is narrating the book, the reader has a deeper understanding of who he is.

There are many rumours circulating town about Boo Radley. People judge him based off of the way that he looks. In reality, he keeps to himself. 

Boo Radley had some traumatic instances happen during his childhood. Due to this, he prefers to stay inside. Readers speculate that he is mentally underdeveloped.  

Furthermore, Boo Radley has problems socializing. This is exemplified by the fact that he only leaves his home at night. However, he has a kind heart and never does any harm. 

What Does Boo Radley Symbolize

Boo Radley holds a lot of symbolic importance throughout the novel. He is a reflection of the town’s deepest fears.

Scout and Jem make up stories about Boo. This is symbolic of their childish understanding of what he is. It also demonstrates their lack of true understanding. 

Furthermore, Boo Radley symbolizes how judgmental people can be. We are quick to make assumptions without any true information. It is a societal comment on how harsh humans can be.

Readers learn a lot from understanding the character of Boo Radley. This is why To Kill a Mockingbird has been received so well. 

Who did Boo Radley Kill?

Boo Radley killed Bob Ewell. It comes to light that Tate is trying to protect Boo Radley. However, readers of the book often come up with other theories.

Is Boo Radley Black?

Boo Radley is in fact white. Although this isn’t explicitly stated, there are many clues that insinuate this. It is important to keep in mind that the novel takes place in the 1930’s.

We know that the Finch family is white. The Radley’s live down the street from the Finch family. Segregation was still in place in the 1930’s. Therefore, it would be very unlikely that a black family would live down the street from a white one.

There were also hints that Boo Radley went to school. For example, Boo placed a spelling medal in a knothole. This was on a tree for Jem and Scout. Black children didn’t have this privilege at the time.


There is no doubt that To Kill a Mockingbird has greatly influenced American literature. It has become a classic novel that is taught in many schools. 

This is because the book encompasses various themes. These themes are often difficult to talk about. Harper Lee articulates this all beautifully.

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