Innocence In To Kill A Mockingbird: Literary Analysis

Superior Essays
Throughout their lives, all children reach a point where they must become an adult and lose their innocence. Some lose their innocence less gradually than others, such as Jem Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird; who loses his innocence during his father’s case fighting against society’s racial prejudice. Amir in Kite Runner loses his innocent as quickly as his friend is raped. The author of Night, Elie Wiesel, experiences a series of life changing events that tear his innocence from his youthful personality. Innocence is taken away from these characters in different ways, but affects them similarly. Jem Finch, Hassan, and Elie Weisel embark on a journey that moves them from innocent children to teens or adults who must confront the evils of society …show more content…
However, as the novel progresses he must deal with the negative side of society, which causes Jem to quickly lose his innocence. Jem’s father’s court case defending Tom Robinson exposes the racism present in Maycomb. The prejudiced behavior has an influence on Jem, and it brings out the worst in all of the Maycomb residents. By being rapidly exposed to the evils of society, Jem’s innocent mindset about all people being the same is proven to be inaccurate. Jem’s younger sister Scout still beholds her innocence and attempts to console Jem and his new frustration by saying, “Naw, Jem, I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.’’ After witnessing the prejudice and evil behaviors of society, Jem can only respond with, “‘That’s what I thought too,’ he said at last, ‘When I was your age. If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they all get along with each other?’” (Lee 304). When Jem is a child he is naive, and only sees the goodness in society by believing everyone is the same. His one theory that there is only one type of folk is exterminated as the trial exposes him to the negative side of society. Jem loses his innocence as he begins to realize that not everyone is considered equal. When Scout shares her that she believes there is only one type of ‘folk’ Jem tells her he ‘thought’ this. By using the past tense Jem implies that he has been changed by the case and no longer sees everyone in society as the same. During Jem’s childhood he thinks that there is ‘one kind of folks’ because his innocence only allowed him to see that there is no difference between people, especially races. The court case causes Jem to mature quickly because it shows him how people cannot ‘get along with each other’ and that the dark side of society stems from those who believe they are superior to a race that is not their own. Jem has revoked his outlook on society due to the court

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