Theme Of Innocence In To Kill A Mockingbird

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“In all our lives there is a fall from innocence. A time after which we are never the same.” were the word of Richard Dreyfuss in the coming of age film, Stand By Me. At some point in our lives, we take a fall from the safety of our nests and must face the harsh reality that we were kept safe from for so long. What we see outside of our familiar boundaries, how we react to it, whether we learn to fly from it or take a hit, will shape our journey from then onwards. In Harper Lee’s critically acclaimed novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, James “Jem” Finch along with his younger sister, Scout, endure their final years of childhood during the 1930’s, when racial prejudice and the complexity of morals are one of the major conflicts. When a court case…show more content…
In an effort to prove himself innocent of such acts, he defends himself by listing what Dill and him have not done, neglecting only what Atticus speculates. His father outwits him however, and continues his walk home, but Jem shouts his distrust on his goal to be a lawyer, now that Atticus rattled him out. Much of Jem’s innocence revolves around Atticus, therefore his actions influence Jem’s thoughts and moral values. With Atticus’ role as the defendant for Tom Robinson and his political knowledge, much of what Jem believes in reflects Atticus’ own morals, Jem’s become more and more vulnerable as the Tom Robinson trials progress. Towards the end of the novel, his vulnerability is at its juncture when Atticus doesn’t win the case and Tom is charged with rape when he knew from the bottom of his heart that Tom was innocent. Lee states, “It was Jem’s turn to cry. His face was streaked with angry tears as we made our way through the cheerful crowd. ‘It ain’t right,’ he muttered, all the way to the corner of the square where we found Atticus waiting.” (Lee 284) Jem is shattered by the partisan court. The scene in the court shred light to the different opinions of other people. Seeing that so many people’s opinions on the trial were antagonistic to Atticus’, and the concept of majority rules, Jem begins to recognize just how society works; in general, majority rules over the…show more content…
Moreover, the fact that there were blacks who disapproved of white presence in their community was and still is an uncommon substantiality. It is important to realize that, because Jem is still young and just beginning to fully comprehend the sentiments and complications occurring around him, the encounter with Lula was most likely a turning point for him. Jem has yet to fully grasp his social status in the community as part of a superior race. Entering a different environment where he becomes the inferior is startling, especially for a young boy. Jem had never immersed himself amongst colored people before, and the only fixed presence of a colored person is Calpurnia. Case in point, Jem probably never even thought about the possibility that a black person may feel the same way a white person would feel towards them. As has been noted, the little skirmish with Lula, regardless of its light occurrence, was a key critical point in the novel. As a result, Jem gets a sample of the counterpart to the white perspective on racial

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