"To Kill a Mockingbird": Ignorance is learned when Innocence is Forgotten

Essay by Ania_Polka_chickieA, October 2006

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Childhood innocence is but one of the virtues and ways of life of all young. Gradually all youth loose the virtue of innocence because of the world and its view. Those who are unsheltered and unprotected are the victims of a primitive human society preying on the weak. Innocence is one of the most beautiful virtues for its simplicity and its purity of goodness. Harper Lee, illustrated in her novel, how two children who were in their childhood state of innocence were later woken to a harsh reality. They experienced the darkest and most primitive qualities of humans. Their experiences of shedding innocence and their experiences with a cruel society and how through maturing morals and perceptions change. The novel lets one ponder on one of the most questioned topics in society. Each character has a certain role in the book pertaining to the answer to this question. Jem and Scout, Atticus and Boo Radley and even Tom Robinson show throughout the book their own experience with innocence and naivety.

In the end is it possible to answer the time old question of when we grow out of playing games, do we take a step forward in the evolution of human nature or are we caught in the intricate web of hatred the world has spun?

Jem is one of the first characters in the book introduced to us. Already in the first chapters we see how his young mind is still in the wakes of innocence and a school yard mentality. His games with Boo Radley and his thoughts about how the world appears, are all still in a very contained manner. For a long time he is kept quarantined by his father and taught school yard rules. Scout's narration tells us that even when he broke his arm...