Certain uncanny resemblance s between Tom Robinson and Boo Radley s lives exist in Harper Lee s To Kill A Mockingbird. In this novel, Boo Radley and Tom Robinson both symbolize the mockingbird. A mockingbird is a harmless bird that makes the world more pleasant with it s song. Both Boo and Tom were peaceful people who never did any harm.
The first parallel in the lives of Tom and Boo focuses on their property. Tom lives in the nigger nest (175) near Mr. Ewell but outside of the city limits. A person s status often relates to his property, and the interpretation of that property s value is often
based on the tenants of the land. The Radley property also threatens the lives of people brave enough to venture near it. The children believe that anything that comes from the Radley s soil is poisoned, including the nuts and fruits on the trees. Jem yells at Scout
once saying about the Radley property: Don t you know you re not supposed to even touch the house over there? You ll get killed if you do. (13) The children do not know or understand Boo, so they make his property threatening and evil. Society characterizes
both of these misunderstood people as amoral and threatening. Therefore, no one wants to go on the land they own, because their values and lives could be risked by simply being near such a type of person.
Another similarity of their lives exists because most people assume their guilt. Without any evidence or reliable knowledge of the situation, Jem, Scout, and Dill assume the stories of Boo attacking his father are true. They do not ask their father if the story
ever happened or ask the sheriff, who was supposedly involved. They simply assume his guilt.
Tom Robinson s trial is another travesty of justice. For most of Maycomb county, his guilt never comes into question during the trial. Atticus says that the trial had, an inevitable verdict. (222) The mob that wanted to lynch Tom also assumed his guilt.
They do not wait until he can have his day in court, they want to execute the punishment they deem acceptable. In Tom s case, the mob believes Bob Ewell s story of Tom raping Mayella Ewell, without having any hesitation about the truth, and they are unwilling to look for any proof designating that Tom did not commit such a heinous crime.
The two men are on the outskirts of society, and their lives have certain resemblance s because of that quality. They are generally not trusted, deemed a threat, and people fail to understand them. Both men become the subject of horror stories to the people that do not understand or attempt to understand them. Even though they never met, Tom and Boo s similar situations cause them to share many aspects of their lives.