Loss of Innocence

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Innocence is usually associated with youth and ignorance. The loss of one's innocence is associated with the evils of the world. However, the term "innocence" can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Similarly, the loss of one's innocence can be interpreted in more than one way, and, depending on the interpretation, it may happen numerous times. The loss of innocence is culture specific and involves something that society holds sacrosanct. It is also bounded by different religious beliefs. Still, no matter which culture or religion is at hand, there is always more than one way to lose one's innocence, and every member of that particular culture or religion experiences a loss of innocence at least once in their lives. In addition, the individual's loss of innocence will impair him or her emotionally and/or physically.

Committing a crime of some sort will certainly cause an individual to lose his or her innocence with emotional scars and perhaps with physical scars. In Native Son, by Richard Wright, Bigger Thomas accidentally suffocates his boss' daughter to death. Suddenly, Bigger feels a strength that had been dormant in him, a sense of control and power over another person. Although the murder is accidental, Bigger Thomas experiences a loss of innocence that enables him to kill others also, including his own girlfriend. Yet, with the power he believes he had acquired from his loss of innocence, he also obtains an abundance of guilt and fear. Bigger knows that he had performed a terrible act, and because of this he feels guilty. Also, he begins to fear that he would be caught. Bigger becomes very paranoid after the murder and ultimately is caught and executed anyway. The case of Bigger Thomas is almost tragic. His loss of innocence, an accident, causes him to become a dishonest and dishonorable person. He is unable to forget the event and bears guilt and fear until he is executed.

Knowing a victim of an unforgettable and unforgivable crime...
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