First I’d like to say something about this book. I did not give this book much of any sort of thought when I read it in eighth grade. I now remember it, and I wish I had given it more thought. I definitely have to read it again. It’s just one of those books you can’t read once in eighth grade and forget about because you’re basically forgetting about the amazing things this piece of literature consists of, even though you never knew about them in eighth grade (so you technically didn’t forget about them because you just never had a clue about them). Anyway, I still don’t have a clue, and I am about to rant about the character, Atticus Finch.
Rant: It’s amazing to me how Harper Lee created the character of Atticus Finch. He seems like a real person to readers all over the world. Everyone can connect to him in his or her own personal ways, and can develop an intimate connection with him. Atticus’ values and qualities embody who we truly are within, or who we desire to be. In essence, he is kind of perfect and awesome.
Okay, this wasn’t much of a rant…
Here’s my alternative ending for TKM that I wrote in eighth grade–but stumbling upon this after a long time, I realize that maybe I knew more than I think I did in eighth grade. (Sorry for the weird spacing. I have issues with that.)
As we were walking home, our legato footsteps in sync, Boo uncovered what was on his mind.
“You know, Ms. Finch, I always wondered about you, your brother too, but mostly you.”
“Well, that’s awfully kind of ya’ Mr. Arthur,” I replied.
“We are new friends now, right Ms. Finch?” Boo said this a bit anxiously as though he was waiting for an answer for a long time.
“Of course, but please Mr. Arthur, don’t call me Ms. Finch. I am Scout, Ms. Finch was my mother.” A breeze of sorrow swept over me as I spoke of my mother.
We started for the Radley house door, my arm still latched through his.
“Okay Ms., uh, Scout, why don’t you come on in? I’ll show ya’ something.”
“Uh-I ain’t so sure….” I swore I heard Atticus call, but maybe I was just imagining it.
“Please.” His pleading look was almost hypnotizing. Suddenly, I felt sorry for him for being kept in that house for so long and decided I wanted to get to know this lonely soul.
“Hmph, Alright Mr. Arthur, I wanna see whatchya been doin’ for the past twenty something years.”
He looked almost hurt as I let this comment out. I regretted saying it immediately, and he led me into the house silently. We walked down a long, creaky staircase, so I was assuming he was taking me to the basement.
A light switched on as I could see a disheveled room, a beaten up unmade bed, a few dusty books, a bucket, some trinkets lying around it, and one barred window fully opened with a loose screen around it.
“Wow, whatchya been doin’ for all this time? I’d get bored outta my brains sooner or later!”
Boo remained silent, and it was starting to pull on my last nerve, but like Atticus had once told me, I started to climb into his skin and walk around in it ‘til I understood to shut my mouth about it. I realized he wanted me to come over in a little area by the wall by the way he was patiently standing there shyly.
As I walked up I saw a little gray night table with golden knobs, and on top of it there was a small white music box with something gold engraved in it that I couldn’t read. I quickly decided it was the most beautiful thing I’d seen in that room so far.
“This you see, was given to me by my momma right before she passed. Said she wanted me to feel remembered, but I tolder I’d remember her more just by lookin’ at it.” “You can touch it if you like.” A little glint of happiness flashed across his tattered and frail face.
My finger gently rested on top of the open top as Boo cranked the lever on the side. A merry jingle started playing, and there was a small wooden carved dog looking lost in the middle of it.
“My momma, she was a nice woman, my whole family was great …even daddy. But…” He trailed off in a whisper, it seemed like he was almost dreaming about something.
“Nathan says they was just tryna’ do what was the best for me, and I believe it, after all, they raised me ya’ know!”
Boo’s tone was almost to a shout now, as if trying to prove a point. Soon things started coming clear to me.
“I am not different Scout, I am not!” “I am like any other kid in town, don’tchya think?” His face was somehow so innocent, with his eyebrows crossed in confusion.
“No, no Mr. Arthur you are just like any one of us.” I smiled a big smile because I knew he wasn’t like those grumpy grown-ups Jem and I bumped into on our way to town.
Boo started walking away, however I wasn’t sure where to.
“But wait, don’t ya’ ever wish you could just come outside at least once to see Maycomb?” This was still the question that left me puzzled.
Boo chuckled a raspy laugh. “ Sure, but ever since I been watchin’ you and Jem and the other boy…”
…“and Dill, I’d imagine myself playin’ out there too and oh boy it’d be fun, we’d have fun together…but sometimes it would be too much to imagine ‘cause I’d know it’d never come true.” I was pretty sure his whole upper body drooped down a good three centimeters.
“BOO! WHY DID WE BELIEVE YOU WERE A SQUIRREL EATIN’ MONSTER??!!” I meant to think this loud in my head, but instead it came loud out of my mouth.
“Oh, so that’s what they call me…” A sad smile crept on his face, so I decided to change the subject to make him feel better.
“But hey Mister! Your speakin’ is mighty fine considerin’ you’ve been stuck down here fer so long!” I knew this remark would bring his spirits back up.
“Scout, it ain’t like I’m mute.” This was said in absolute monotone with his eyebrows still crossed.
Jean Louise Finch, why do you even try? I thought to myself.
As a pause filled the room for a couple of seconds, I heard Atticus call my name through the window.
“Oh, well, uh, I better go now Mr. Arthur, it was nice gettin’ to know ya’!”
“As to you Scout, hope to see ya’ again.” Mr. Arthur’s face showed no signs of brightness.
“Hey! You wanna walk into town with Jem and me tomorrow mornin’?” I asked. “I am sure he would be glad to meet you!”
“Yeah, I’d like that!” Boo exclaimed. This was the moment I saw Mr. Arthur’s face go five shades brighter. “But…I don’t know if I can.” His face fell back down into place, it seemed like his face could be one of those rollercoasters at the Maycomb Festival.
“Hmm, how bout I talk to Atticus, he’s a lawyer, he’ll figure out if it should be okay for you to come or not.” I took pride in my compromise.
“Oh boy, I heard he was the best in town!” “I can’t wait! See ya’ tomorrow then!” He waved sporadically as I climbed out the window.
I knew this wouldn’t be the last time I saw Boo Radley again.