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Mockingbird's Faded Childhood Innocence

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Submitted By bruaim92
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Mockingbird‘s Faded Childhood Innocence

Irish poet William Butler Yeats once said, “The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time.” There is no truer an example in literature than in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. In the novel the author uses the perspective of the novel’s storyteller, Miss Jean Louise Finch, more commonly known as Scout, and her brother Jeremy, nicknamed Jem, to highlight the blind innocence that comes as a byproduct of childhood. It is this innocence that also disappears from the children’s perspective in the novel. At least at first the two, blinded by their innocence, are unaware of the more mature and even sometimes ominous events and actions that eventually occur in the novel’s unveiling plot. It is because of their unwearied characters that Lee is able to best show how the events that occur in the lives of young characters causes blind innocence to disappear over time. Throughout the novel, there is a constant turn of events that ultimately leaves the children disillusioned with all their preconceived notions of all that is morally just and good. As Yeats said, time indeed proves to be the enemy for the children’s innocence, and by the novel’s end their worldly perspective is irreversibly changed. In the opening of the novel, Jean Louise Finch is revealed to be a grown woman looking back on her youth. The focal point of the narrative in particular is an innocent period from her childhood when she is six years old, just before starting school and her remembrance continues until the time of her life when she was eight years old. Early in the novel, Scout and Jem begin to lose part of their innocence, as although they’ve each begun to realize differences between themselves and those around them, they are non-judgmental about these differences. For example when another classmate, Walter Cunningham, has no means…...

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