Loss Of Innocence



In the book, the children have an innocent outlook on the world. They believe that everyone in the world is equal to each other and colour should not matter. However, as seen in the book, this innocence is soon taken away from them all to quickly as they begin to discover the evils which lurk around every corner.

The children, Scout and Jem, lose this innocence and learn of the harsh ways of the world through the prejudice they experience regarding Tom Robinson's case. By witnessing a man be wrongly punished for a crime he did not commit, they start to see how unfair the world can be.

This book is based around a black man being being wrongly accused and sentenced for rape, therefore it is accurately titled 'To Kill A Mockingbird. This ties in with the theme of a loss of innocence because to kill the man would be the same as killing a mockingbird.

Watch the video below and write a paragraph on the Discussion Board, identifying how this is associated with the theme "Loss of Innocence". After you complete the paragraph, reply to two others stating whether you agree or disagree with their opinion.

Atticus: "I have nothing but pity in my heart for the Chief Witness for the State. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance. But, my pity does not extend so far as to her putting a man's life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt. Now I say "guilt," gentlemen, because it was guilt that motivated her. She's committed no crime. She has merely broken a rigid an





d time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She must destroy the evidence of her offense. But, what was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson, a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was to her a daily reminder of what she did."


There are a few moments when the older characters in the book are realising the children are losing their innocence. In one of these moments Atticus says to Jem, "There's a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep 'em all away from you. That's never possible." This line shows that Atticus also realises there is nothing anyone can do about the evils in the world, it shows how caring he is towards his son by wanting to keep them away from him, even though it's impossible.

It is clear at the end of the novel that Jem is aware of the adult world, but does not agree with it.

"If there's just one kind of folks, why can't they get along with each other? If they're all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time. It's because he wants to stay inside." (Jem p.259)

His speech here shows the battle going on inside him between childhood innocence and his new awareness of life's cruelty.
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