Individuals can also have a universe of obligation (or circle of responsibility), consisting of the people for whose safety and well-being they feel responsible. What do we learn about Boo Radley’s universe of obligation in this chapter? Do his actions in this chapter reveal him to be similar to or different from the person Scout and Jem think he is? How does this refute the gossip and legend about the Radleys that the children spread?
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Boo is the opposite of everything the children believe. They've heard rumors their whole lives about Boo's incarceration within his home, his violence toward his father, his actions toward animals and his suspicious movements. None of these things are true, and regardless of the children's actions, Boo becomes the silent friend who leaves gifts and saves their lives. Boo's actions refute everything the children have ever heard, except of course, the things they've heard from Atticus and Miss. Maudie.