There’s a huge misconception about how kanji work. You see this sort of advice all the time: “Kanji are made up of radicals, so you should learn the radicals first,” or “Make sure you learn the radicals. They’re the building blocks of kanji.” This is not true. People who say this are well-intentioned but ill-informed about the nature of the kanji.
So, how do kanji actually work?
It’s fairly simple, believe it or not. Most kanji are made up of components, and those components can play different roles within the kanji.