Loss of Innocence

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It has been said that innocence can be defined as the state or quality of being morally free from guilt or sin, through lack of knowledge of evil. I will examine pieces of literature that convey the loss of innocence to either a particular person, or a group of people. The first piece of writing I have chosen is, The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. In the middle of a war, a plane carrying a group of schoolboys crashed onto an island. The pilot had been killed, so that left the boys to fend for themselves. The boys were brought up properly, so naturally, they were very well behaved and orderly at the beginning of the novel. Most of all, they longed to be rescued. As time goes on, hunting becomes a priority for some of the boys, and before you know it they’ve become blood thirsty savages. Nearing the end of the story, the boys have no desire to return to civilization. They have come a long way from the guiltless children playing in the water, to the raging hunters that kill animals and even fellow human beings. Despite all of this, Golding does not refer to their loss of innocence as something that is done, rather as an openness to the evil and savagery that is already inside of them. He suggests that there is an evil inside of us all and that civilization may silence it, but it’s always there. Golding also reveals this switch from innocent to unrestrained behaviour through the forest clearing that Simon sits in. At the beginning of the story the clearing was very open and peaceful, but upon Simons return there was a stake with a pigs head upon it, symbolizing the destruction of the peace that had existed there previously.

The next piece of literature I have chosen is a poem titled: Loss of Innocence by Casey Stewart. Curiosity grows, finding new ground
Temptation breaks all resistance
Dark discoveries flood in
Innocence swept away
Sinful satisfaction sweeps over
Curiosity laughs, temptation has won
Sources change, sin remains
Innocence is dead,...
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