• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Innocence is destroyed through contact with evil throughout To Kill a Mockingbird. Do you agree?

Extracts from this document...


INNOCENCE IS DESTROYED THROUGH CONTACT WITH EVIL THROUGHOUT THE NOVEL, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Do you agree? In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, the innocence of children, who are unaware of the cruelty of the adult world, is damaged by the discrimination of Maycomb County. The widespread racial prejudice and social injustice violates children, the universal epitome of innocence. Harper Lee thoroughly exposes man's inhumanity to man and criticises the bigotry of Maycomb County which taints the joy of childhood. In a town steeped in racial prejudice, the irrationality of adult attitudes to race damages the innocent, happy conscience of children. Jem, who believes Maycomb to be "a cocoon", loses his innocence as he witnesses the racial injustice of his society. At the start, "Jem [is] jumping in excitement", unaware of the brutal capacity of his society. ...read more.


Furthermore, not only racial injustice but also the evil of social bigotry abuses the innocence of children. Scout, as a child of six, is oblivious to social prejudice so unknowingly accepts it. After realising that Boo Radley, who is believed to be a "malevolent phantom", is actually a man who has given them "two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and [their] lives", Scout learns to see the true self of individuals. Her understanding of society demonstrates that associating with evil has the potential to destroy innocence. In addition, Aunt Alexandra's refusal to allow Scout to associate with Walter Cunningham open's Scout eyes to the prevalent social class system of Maycomb County: "our kind of folks don't like the Cunninghams, the Cunninghams don't like the Ewells, and the Ewells hate and despise the coloured folks." ...read more.


Her father forces her to be the family slave and due to her lack of education she's unable to escape from this harsh reality. Even Burris Ewell, who calls Miss Caroline a "snot-nosed slut of a school teacher", is robbed of a joyful childhood, as he has a father, who is a man who cares very little for anyone but himself. The circumstances over which the children have no control, and mankind's malice and instinct to hurt, has destroyed the innocence of many children in To Kill a Mockingbird. Thus, the social injustice, the widespread racial prejudice and man's inhumanity to man are all represented by Harper Lee as evil which destroys innocence. Whilst the cruelty in Maycomb County teaches Jem, Scout and Dill moral lessons which vandalize their childhood, the Ewells' children are totally deprived of a carefree childhood at all. Thus, evil, in many forms, shatters innocence throughout To Kill a Mockingbird. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird Lit Review

    In Maycomb, women were also expected to act like "ladies". They wore dresses and attended tea parties with other women. Maycomb was divided in its own sort of social pyramid with each level being a family.

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    One day Atticus catches them playing the game and asks them if it has anything to do with the Radleys. They say it doesn't, and Atticus replies, "I hope it doesn't." Atticus's sternness forces them to stop playing, and Scout is relieved because she's worried for another reason: she thought

  1. Scout's Maturation through the Evil in the World

    She is able to realize that Tom Robinson is going to found guilty and feels horrible about it inside.''Naw, Jem, I think there"s just one kind of folks. Folks (pg. 227).' Towards the very end of the book, Scout has finally matured enough to realize the fact that are people are the same and all people should be created equal.

  2. Victims of Injustice.

    However, they do not know if this is true, and that is why they want to witness how he looks like, "'Let's try to make him come out,"' said Dill. "'I'd like to see what he looks like."' In this quote, Dill a newcomer to the town, hears stories about Boo from Jem and Scout.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work