December 19, 2017
Understanding the Real World
Every individual has their own path in life, some may lead to good, and some may lead to bad. At some point and time in life, a person will experience something that makes them more mature and they lose their innocence. As one loses their innocence, they gain more of a realistic view of the world. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, and Lord of the Flies by William Golding each child loses their innocence which has given them a different perspective on the world.
Lord of the Flies
Throughout the novel, innocence is lost progressively for all of the boys. All of the boys were placed on the island where they had to grow up fast. They were all put in a dramatic situation at a young age where they had to learn very different and difficult things on their own, where as no other kid their age would know. Some of the things they had to learn were from the others boys and they had to create their own society in order for a chance at survival. They slowly learned what they had to do in order to be a leader and survive, but there were no adults to help them out and to say what was right and wrong.
All of the boys on the island have never had so much power to control one another. This causes violence, anger, and chaos. Violence breaks out between Ralph and Jack which eventually causes a split of their own little society that they formed. Both Ralph and Jack think that themselves would be a better leader than the other would be. “‘I’m chief,’ said Ralph, ‘because you chose me. And we were going to keep the fire going. Now you run after food—'” (Golding 150). When Ralph claims his authority, Jack also states why he would be a better leader in the novel by saying, “‘I ought to be chief,’ said Jack with simple arrogance, ‘because I’m chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp'” (Golding 22). With Ralph eventually becoming the leader, he does not have the experience or knowledge that an adult would have, and he has to figure the roles out, even though Jack goes on to do his own thing. Being a leader is a difficult thing to be, and trying to make everybody else happy is a difficult thing to do which Ralph quickly learned.
Jack turning violent towards the other boys and Ralph shows his savage side that not a lot of the other boys have. With Jack being a savage and Ralph being more on the civilized side, violence is created that a society should not have if they want any hope for rescue. “Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy” (Golding 202). The violence plays a major part in their loss of innocence, and the boys learn that while growing up and becoming leaders, these types of things happen even though they shouldn’t and could be prevented in the real world.
To Kill a Mockingbird
In the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, there are small events that make Jem and Scout lose some of their innocence that lead up to one major event that makes them lose it all. It makes Jem and Scout understand what people in their neighborhood are really like and how the world saw black people.
“When I was almost six and Jem was nearly ten, our summertime boundaries (within calling distance of Calpurnia) were Mrs. Henry Layfette Dubose’s house two doors to the north of us, and the Radley Place three doors to the south. We were never tempted to break them” (Lee 7). Being an innocent child, there are rules to obey and a kid would never want to break them knowing something bad could happen. This shows that Jem and Scout listen to what their father, Atticus, has to say, and would never disobey him. When Scout encounters Mr. Cunningham at the jail is really shows how innocent she is. Mr. Cunningham came to harm an innocent black man, Tom Robinson, and possibly even Atticus, but Scout does not understand that Mr. Cunningham wants to harm Tom just because he is colored. She starts talking to Mr. Cunningham saying, “‘Don’t you remember me, Mr. Cunningham? I’m Jean Louise Finch. You brought us some hickory nuts one time, remember?'” (Lee 205). This shows just how clueless and innocent Scout is.
Jem shows a gain in maturity in the middle of the story when Dill comes over randomly and hides under Scout’s bed after running away from home due to his mother and new father not paying as much of attention as he would like to him. Jem being concerned about Dill’s actions, he tells Atticus about Dill which shows maturity. “‘Dill, I had to tell him,’ he said. ‘You can’t run three hundred miles off without your mother knowin”” (Lee 188). Although Dill saw Jem as a bad person for telling Atticus, Jem realizes that he made the right decision.
Jem and Scout both completely lose their innocence after the trial of Tom Robinson. Jem believes that Tom Robinson will be found not guilty because Atticus proved facts that proved there was no way Tom could have beaten Mayella. However on that day, prejudice overloaded facts. “‘Guilty … guilty … guilty … guilty …’ I peeked at Jem: his hands were white from gripping the balcony rail, and his shoulders jerked as if each ‘guilty’ was a separate stab between them” (Lee 282). “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'” (Lee 284).
Both Jem and Scout now understand how the town of Maycomb is. They realize that it is not at all what they thought it was. They realize that people aren’t as friendly and good as they seem, and that they are instead racist and prejudice. They understand that people can act completely different than they actually and that being prejudice means more than being honest to the people in Maycomb.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn