April 28, 2014
Surprises in literature occur frequently, and are the main attraction of most stories.
However, what readers do not always immediately notice while enjoying a novel is
foreshadowing. Foreshadowing gives a warning or an indication that a future event, a surprise, is
going to take place. In To Kill a Mockingbird, the event that I found most surprising was when it
is revealed that it was Boo Radley who saved Jem from Mr. Ewell; although, after looking more
closely, there were some fairly obvious hints that foreshadowed the revelation.
In chapter 28, Jem and Scout are ambushed by a man, whose identity is unknown to
them, on their way home from the pageant. Scout, who is immobilized by her stiff costume,
notices in the midst of the attack that the noise of struggling had seemed to have ceased. She
spots Jem being carried away from the scene by another mysterious figure, and races back to her
house. Once there, she checks on Jem to be assured that he is safe in the hands of Dr. Reynolds,
Atticus, and Aunt Alexandra. However, in the corner of the room, Scout notices a pale man with
torn clothes: Boo Radley.
This moment surprised me the most because I had thought that the buzz of the tales of
Boo Radley and the Radley household had completely subsided. Seemingly out of nowhere Boo
Radley weaved himself back into the story again, but in reality, there was foreshadowing
throughout the whole novel that gave clues of this event happening. One scene of foreshadowing
Raina Walencewicz 1
of this event was when Boo wraps the blanket around Scout when Miss Maudie's house catches
on fire. "'Then whose blanket is that?' 'Blanket?' 'Yes ma'am, blanket. It...