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To Kill a Mockingbird - Theme of Innocence

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To Kill a Mockingbird - Theme of Innocence

 

 

Innocence is a time when a person has never done something, it is the first step of the theme of innocence to experience. The second step in the movement from innocence to experience, is experience. This step is what is achieved after a person or thing has done something they have never done before or learns something they have never know before. The theme of growth from innocence to experience occurs many times in the first part of To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. This process is one of the central themes in the first eleven chapters of this book, because it shows how Scout and Jem change and mature.

 

In To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, there are many great examples of Jem or Scout moving from innocence to experience. One of these is on page 24 when Scout learns the proper way to treat a guest. After Scout has a fight with Walter Cunningham, Jem invites him to dinner. During the meal, Scout watches Walter pour a lot of syrup on his food. Thinking it unusual, Scout inquired about why he was doing it. Her comment embarrasses Walter. Calpernia, the housekeeper, brings her into the kitchen and tells her that she should never comment on the ways of their guest's eating habits or otherwise. To drive home her point, Calpernia not only informs Scout of her mistake, she slaps her.

 

Prior to these events happening, Scout had never know that it was improper to make fun of or judge a guest of the house. In her innocence, she had never before realized this behavior was inappropriate. The hit as well as the scolding have removed her innocence. Scout is now very aware of her mistake. With her new experience, she will most likely never embarrass a house guest again. She has learned her lesson.

 

In my life I have also gone through many situations that have taken me across the threshold of innocence to experience. One example of this would be, that when I was young, I was unaware that leaning back in a chair was dangerous. This would be my innocence, but one day when I was leaning back, I fell to the ground and took off the skin on my chin. At this moment I lost my innocence because I learned that something that I thought was fun could result in injury. Another time in which I went from innocence to experience was when I did not know that playing video games for too long would have any adverse effects. I was innocent in thinking that such games could not hurt me in any way. I soon discovered, however, if I watched too long, lights and motion would give me a headache. After this, I was experienced in this knowledge and knew that there were indeed consequences from watching TV for too long a time. The theme of innocence to experience runs through all things including books stories and in reality.

 

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