Loss Of Innocence In To Kill A Mockingbird

707 Words3 Pages
In our culture of cynicism and distrust, a sole bastion of innocence has always been childhood; immortal times of a carefree existence. Yet as a child matures into an adolescent, and consequentially into an adult, issues and morals too mature. Behavior and conflict loses its simplicity; what was once black and white, good versus evil morphs into hues of gray as the child gains insight into the best and worst aspects of humanity. This loss of innocence is perhaps one of the greatest themes of Harper Lee’s, To Kill a Mockingbird, with the primary protagonist, Scout Finch, being the best example of this. Yet this “loss of innocence” is not universally bad, indeed, an evolving worldview also aids Scout in her discoveries of the basic goodness…show more content…
Scout’s journey also involves a much less broad topic, her view of Atticus. One of the primary themes of Scout’s evolution is her increasing awareness of the problems of the world around her. One such issue Scout encounters is the idea of inequality based on the color of one’s skin, the idea of superiority of certain creeds, an idea exacerbated especially by the book’s setting of 1930’s-era Alabama, during the height of both the Great Depression and Jim Crowe laws. Scout’s first encounter with the idea of race, something to which she had previously given little thought, begins when other children at her school begin hurling insults at her based on Atticus taking up the job of defending Tom Robinson in court. Scout questions Atticus about some of these insults, asking what a, “nigger-lover” was, an insult hurled at her by Cecil Jacobs (144). She tries to explain that, “it was like he had said snot-nosed or something”. This demonstrates the novelty of the concept of racial inequality for Scout, with her demonstrating that she had heard the term but that she was not truly aware of its meaning. Mr. Raymond too remarks on this, saying that Scout, “has not
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