What do we learn as readers?
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A recluse who never emerges from his house. As a young boy, he was in trouble with the police, and his strictly religious and reclusive parents have kept him indoors ever since. A prisoner in his home, he stabbed his father with scissors once, and no one has seen him since. The town has developed a myth that he is an insane monster who wanders around at night peering into people's windows. Throughout the book, he lives with his brother, who is highly controlling.
Throughout the novel a different Boo emerges; he can be playful giving, and protective, and yet remain a recluse. He saves Scout and Jem, and is in essence the story's hero.