To Kill A Mockingbird Boo Radley, Tom Robinson, Dolphous Raymond
by Harper Lee

Although each of these three characters occupy different parts of the novel, the all serve the same purpose; to teach Scout, Jem, and the readers, that people are not so easily judged. Despite the towns preconceived notions of these men, they are not what others think of them. No one truly knows these men, but the make outrageous claims nonetheless. Since no one sees Boo Radley, it is easy to make accusations and spread rumors about him. He is reclusive, introverted. He hides away from the town, which gives them free reign to make outrageous claims about him.

Tom Robinson is a black man, and pays for the stereotypes that society has had for years. There has always been a fear of black male sexuality, perpetuated by stories of white women being raped and defiled by black men. When Mayella Ewell makes the charge of rape, Tom's judgment comes not from the facts, but the stereotypes that clouded every jury member and every citizen of the town. They do not take the time to understand Tom, but fear and hate him unfairly.

Although Dolphous Raymond is an inconsequential character, he is a prime example of the town's judgment. He has been written off as a drunk who lives among the black community, but when Dill and Scout sit and talk with him, they find the only beverage he abuses is Coca-Cola. Dolphous furthers some of the rumors about himself, however. He understands the town's mentality, and creates some of the stir around himself.

Share on Pinterest