Childhood Innocence Theme

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The power of childhood innocence reveals more about one another than any other force in nature. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee creates the unjust rape trial of Tom Robinson to shed light upon how the power of childhood innocence reveals the true racially-based corruption of the time period. Through the eyes of a child named Scout and the focus on two other child protagonists, Dill and Jean, Lee highlights the way a child views the world versus those jaded by the depravity of humanity. Harper Lee focuses upon the characterization of Scout, Dill, and Jean to present the idea that childhood innocence sees the true evils of society through a non-judgmental lens. The characterization of Scout shows how naive childhood innocence can shield…show more content…
After searching through the town, they come across Atticus in front of the county jail sitting and reading a newspaper whilst protecting Tom Robinson inside the jail cell. Shortly after the kids’ arrival, a mob of Maycomb citizens drives up to the jail cell in an attempt to hurt Tom Robinson. Before anything got out of hand, the kids run in front of Atticus and unknowingly disrupt the entire mob. Scout gives a monologue with such quotes as, “Hey, Mr. Cunningham. How’s your entailment getting’ along?” (Lee, 129) and “Entailments are bad…” (Lee, 129) These quotes along with the rest of the exclamation by Scout show how oblivious Scout is to the situation. Scout’s childhood innocence has shielded her vision from seeing the true intentions behind the large group of people. Furthermore, Scout’s…show more content…
During the Tom Robinson case, Dill lets Scout know that he feels sick. Scout and Dill go outside of the courthouse to go under a tree in hopes that the heat made him feel sick. This, however, was not the case when Dill tells Scout that, "It was just him [Mr. Gilmer, the prosecution lawyer] I couldn 't stand... That old Mr. Gilmer doin ' him thataway, talking so hateful to him." (Lee, 168) Dill was expressing his discontent for Mr. Gilmer’s abusive behavior and expressing hateful impressions against Tom Robinson. Being a child, Dill did not see much hatred for a single denomination of people before, thus explaining how he feels sick when encountering said hatred. Furthermore, John Raymond responds to Dill’s innocence through the quote, “Things haven’t caught up with that one’s instinct yet. Let him get a little older and he won’t get sick and cry. Maybe things’ll strike him as being- not quite right, say, but he won’t cry, not when he gets a few years on him.” (Lee, 170) John insights Dill and Scout through how the destruction of childhood innocence creates a jaded shell of their former self. Through John, the kids realize that childhood innocence shielded them from the monstrosities of humanity, and how you become used to the mistreatment of others once that shield dissipates. In conclusion, Dill 's reaction to the bitterness of Mr. Gilmer reveals the true blindness
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