What Is The Theme Of Innocence In To Kill A Mockingbird

1671 Words 7 Pages
Innocence. Every human being is born with it, yet at some point in time that innocence will be lost. What must happen for someone’s innocence to be taken away? Does it come with age or do certain events speed up the process? Once someone loses their innocence does it change who they are? In Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, the process of losing one’s innocence is shown to the readers. When a black man named Tom Robinson is accused of raping a white woman, he must go to court. Because of a detriment he possesses, his skin color, it is Tom against the white skinned people of Maycomb. One white man, different from the rest, knows that Tom is innocent so he decided to defend Tom during his trial. The man goes by the name Atticus Finch. Atticus’ …show more content…
After Atticus decides to defend Tom Robinson, Scout comes home upset after a fight with her classmate, Cecil Jacobs, over what type of person Atticus is for accepting Tom’s case. Atticus realizes that this may be the beginning of Scout’s innocence leaving her, so he reminds her that no matter what happens she should stay true to herself by saying, “This time we aren’t fighting the Yankees, we’re fighting our friends. But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they’re still our friends and this is still our home” (Lee 101-102). This shows how Atticus is trying to prepare her for what is to come. He is vicariously saying that she needs to look past the words people are saying, and instead look at her morals to decide if what they are saying is true. No matter how people try to convince her that she is wrong, know that everyone has different beliefs, but that does not mean they do not belong. The trial brings a lot of things into the light for Atticus, one being that he does not know how his children will react once they realize the truth. Atticus expresses his fear to his brother Jack one night by saying, “You know what’s going to happen as well as I do, Jack, and I only hope and pray I can get Jem and Scout through it without …show more content…
Jem has been exposed to many instances throughout his childhood that could have lead him to losing his innocence. He has always been more empathetic than Scout and, has been able to make connections to more things than Scout has. For instance, before Atticus accepts Tom Robinson’s trial, the reader’s experience Jem losing a piece of his innocence with the realization that Boo is trapped inside the house like a prisoner. When Jem and Scout find little gifts in a hole in a tree, they are euphoric. Neither of the children realize it is Boo providing the gifts until Boo’s older brother, Nathan, fills up the hole with concrete. Jem is then understands the truth that Boo has no freedom and is trapped in the house. Jem, despondent because of the truth, goes out onto the porch and cries. Scout says, “When he went in the house I saw he had been crying” (Lee 84). Although she acknowledges the fact that Jem is full of sorrow, she is oblivious as to why. Scout just thinks he is being maudlin, and does not make the connection Jem does about Boo. This shows how Jem is starting to realize that Maycomb is not as perfect as he originally thought. Even after realizing this though, he is still overcome with sorrow which shows how his values are the same since he still cares about the people of Maycomb. With the stress of the trial, Jem continues to understand the true character of those

Related Documents