Reaction to a Passage
“Jem gave a reasonable description of Boo: 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 blood-stained—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 (Lee 3).”
This passage from Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” reminds me of the childish horror stories that we would always share amongst ourselves about the members of the society whose ways of life we did not understand. As children, we would always be curious about old people who lived alone. We would come up with horror stories about them and share these stories amongst ourselves. Despite being made up, we believed such stories and held them as the absolute truths about the characters.
I cannot avoid the feeling of fear that grips me whenever I read this description of Boo. Though he was a man living in the community with other men, the description that Jem gives befits a carnivorous being who poses a great danger to humans. At six-feet tall, Boo is tall enough to wrestle down any average human should he want to kill and feast on him as he does with the squirrels and cats. The part of Jem’s description that says “he drooled most of the time (Lee 3)” makes me think of a greedy carnivore a…
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