Lost and Found
“Ella, did you take the last cookie from the jar?” Mother said with an accusing tone.
“No Mommy, I promise.” Ella is 6, and she is telling the truth. Ten years later…
“Ella, did you take the last cookie from the jar?”
“Do not lie to me young lady. I do not need your sass.” Ella is 16 and she is still telling the truth. What, other than time, separates these two instances? Innocence. When Ella was 6, she was Mommy’s little angel. She did what she was asked, used her manners, and did not use bad language. When Ella was 16, that image of an angel was erased from her mother’s mind. In her place stood a crabby, back-sassing teenager that no parent would want to deal with.
In this essay, I will describe how two characters, Scout and Jem, loose their innocence. I will start with my favorite character from To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout Finch. Scout had many reasons why she lost her innocence, but I am zeroing in on one in particular.
Scout says in Chapter Nine: “I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year.” One of my favorite things about Scout Finch is that she doesn’t beat around the bush. She tells you what she thinks, and when she wants to say it. This statement is a fine example of that, but in more than one way. It shows her perspective on how she has changed. Now let’s not get confused here. I don’t think she exactly “made herself change;” there were definitely some contributing factors, such as Aunt Alexandra moving in. Her high quality ways and pish posh attitude gave Scout a run for her money. Aunt Alexandra practically pushed the lady-like manners on Scout, but most of the time, Scout pushed right back. However, it did leave an impression on Scout that gave her the idea of how she should act, not how she wanted to. She was getting a glimpse of what her future of being a woman would be like, and I think it made her scared. The idea of wearing overalls all the time just wouldn’t do: people wanted more of her. But the one person who will never want more of her, is Scout’s father.
While examining the term, "the end of innocence", Scouts viewpoint on Boo throughout the novel can be an indication of Scouts own "end of innocence." Scout opens the novel with a naive viewpoint on both the world and Boo Radley. At the start of the novel, Scout interprets a raiding on the jail, through an adolescent standpoint. Scout sees the circumstances of the attack from the perspective of a ...
Atticus was basically the big doozey in this book. Not just Atticus, but what he stood for, and defending Tom Robinson. I do admire him immensely though, for trying to rein Scout in by telling her to just brush off her schoolmate’s ignorance and annoying behaviors. Even so, in the small town of Maycomb, the folks don’t really have anyone else to pester. So, those who are a target keep on getting the bullet. This was the case for Scout. She kept on getting bullied about her father’s wrongdoings, even if they didn’t involve her directly. She was the (that always sounds sort of negative to me) of someone who was doing something “horrid,” and she had to suffer the consequences, which ended up changing her perspective. It went from “Everyone in the world is like my dad, Atticus. Kind, loving, and always knows the right thing to do,” to “Oh shucks, some people in this world are really nasty, and I’m going to have to deal with them.” Isn’t that what losing innocence is all about? Realizing what you’ve grown up with and learned isn’t what life really is? The one person in this book who really absorbed this information was Jem. In the following paragraphs you will hopefully think so too, and see how it felt to loose innocence from Jem’s perspective.
Towards the middle/end of the book, Scout notices the phase Jem is going through. What she does not pay attention to is the fact that Jem has his own set of problems.
Jem is not in a good mood today.
First off, he is going through “that stage.” You may think this is all fun and games, but as we all know, it is simply horrid. One minute, (a C comma) you are playing with your sibling, and the next you get mad at him or her for building a mud castle the wrong way. Imagine what it must feel like for him. Not being in control of his emotions, and when he is, it is only for a few moments. At one point, (another C comma) Scout feels lost, so she goes to Calpurnia for advice about Jem. In Chapter Twelve, Calpurnia says: ‘”Baby,’ said Calpurnia, ‘I just can’t help it if Mister Jem’s growin’ up. He’s gonna want to be off to himself a lot now, doin’ whatever boys do, so you just come right on in the kitchen when you feel lonesome. We’ll find lots of things to do in here’.” Even Calpurnia understood. But one thing I highly doubt she could see just by looking at Jem was the fact he was feeling betrayed himself, but by whom? Mr. Nathan Radley. It went down like this: As you know, Scout and Jem were finding little goodies in the tree hole. They were very excited each day when they passed it and saw it contained something. Then, one day, they stopped, and the hole was full of cement. Mr. Nathan told Jem it was because the tree was sick. Later on, Jem asked Atticus, and he said the tree was perfectly healthy. Jem’s reaction to that event left him with a sense of hollowness. We’ve all had that feeling, when we realize the only type of person in the world we could ever truly trust, (the only type?) has lied to us. It’s the worst feeling you could have. The only thing I can compare it to is when you’re at a carnival, and you are going on the ride that goes up in a straight line, and then catapults down. Your stomachs feels like it’s dropping at one hundred miles per hour. Add that to “the stage” and you’ve got Jem’s emotional hurricane.
... father being a 'nigger-lover.' ; Atticus advises the children to not let the insults bother them. Scout and Jem feel a little ashamed of their ... broke her addiction to morphine before she died. When Atticus leaves on business, Calpurnia, their faithful negro cook, decides to bring the ... leaving the things for them, but Mr. Radley cements up the knot hole. During the winter it snows and Jem builds a ...
Jem also lost a smidge of innocence the night of the trial. When Atticus was tucking him in, he says, in Chapter Twenty-two: “Atticus-” said Jem bleakly. He turned in the doorway. “What, son?” “How could they do it, how could they?” “I don’t know, but they did it. They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again and when they do it – seems that only children weep. Good night.” Jem began to understand, like Scout, that people were starting to appear malicious. One analogy for losing innocence is putting up a brick wall around oneself, in this case, Jem. Since it seems like everything you’ve learned is going up in flames, and you feel alone, why not build a sturdy wall that would just block everything out so that you never get hurt, hypothetically, of course. I mean, that would be nice and all, but that’s not a part of life. Sometimes you have to let the bullet hit you, and when you heal, chances are, you’ll be stronger.
... after school for one month. Scout chooses to accompany Jem. Shortly after Jem is relieved from duty, Mrs. Dubose dies. Only then ... to face people, and they head for home with Jem guiding Scout. Jem hears something unusual and tells Scout to be very ... Tom Robinson after the evidence Atticus presented. After the verdict, Jem leaves the courtroom stunned, angry, and crying. The African-American community ...