Innocence to Experience, in Harper Lee's to Kill a Mockingbird

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird / Pages: 10 (2457 words) / Published: Oct 9th, 1999
Innocence to Experience

"Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the

streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square."(Lee

9). This environment, as Scout Finch accurately describes, is not conducive to young children, loud

noises, and games. But, the Finch children and Dill must occupy themselves in order to avoid

boredom. Their surroundings are their boundaries, but in their minds, they have no physical confines.

Although the physical "boundaries were Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose's house two doors to the

north..., and the Radley Place three doors to the south,"(Lee 11) Jem, Scout, and Dill find ways to

use the limits, in conjunction with their imaginations, to amuse themselves. The children are the ones

who change the old town and make it full of unexpected events. In the same way as the children, the

adults of the novel play games that come from their imaginations and, they themselves are the ones

who provide the fear for everyone in the county to fear. "Maycomb County had recently been told

that it had nothing to fear but fear itself"(10). The adults and the children share the fact that they both

play games, but a difference also exists between them. The children enact their entertainment,

knowing that the games could get violent, but in the end, when the games are over, all the players are

able to return home. On the other hand, the adults play their adult games, hurting anyone who does

not play by the given rules, and not everyone is fortunate enough to return home. The children

pretend to be violent at times but the adults actually are violent. As the children move through the

novel, they use these games to develop from their innocence to a level of experience by actualizing

the realities of their games through the lives of the adults. Through their own games and through the

games of the adults, the children learn values of respect,

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Loss of Innocence in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Innocence In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee
  • Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird: A Review
  • Analysis Of Harper Lee's 'To Kill A Mockingbird'
  • Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird: A Sinful Journey
  • Summary Of Harper Lee's 'To Kill A Mockingbird'
  • An analysis of the theme in Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
  • Who are the mockingbirds in Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird'? An analysis of the title.
  • An Analysis Of Harper Lee's 'To Kill A Mockingbird'
  • Similes In Harper Lee's 'To Kill A Mockingbird'