Innocence and Experience in To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a novel that portrays the innocence and experience of Scout, the main character, as she progresses through her childhood. The novel is set in Maycomb County Alabama, in the 1930s during the Great Depression. Scout Finch lives with her brother ahem and their father Atticus. There is a trial in the town about a black man who was wrongly accused of raping a young white girl.

The novel examines the social issues of that time period.

The story follows Scout as she witnesses the events during her childhood innocence.
Atticus attempts to guide Scout through her innocence. When he gives her and Jem air rifles he says, “shoot all the Blue Jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a Mockingbird. The Mockingbird represents innocence. The Mockingbird is innocent because it does not harm anything or is a pest at all.

They sing beautifully and are peaceful.

For that reason, it is a sin to kill them. Scout did not fully understand what Atticus meant because of her own innocence.
At the part of the story when it snows, Scout had never seen snow before, and she thought the world was ending. She says “the world’s ending Atticus! Please do something.” This quote means Scout’s innocence causes her to think that something as normal as snow is causing the world to end. Scout is very young and has not seen much because she lives in such a tiny town.

Get quality help now

Proficient in: To Kill A Mockingbird

5 (339)

“ KarrieWrites did such a phenomenal job on this assignment! He completed it prior to its deadline and was thorough and informative. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Scout has such a small view on the world, and seeing snow for the first time changes that view. She thinks much bigger of the world now.
Atticus says, “I’m simply defending a negro-his names, Tom Robinson.” All of the kids at school are making fun of Scout and Jem and saying mean things to them because Atticus is defending Tom Robinson in a case. This illustrates a loss of innocence by Scout. She sees how much hatred people can have towards somebody simply because of the color of their skin. This represents a turning point in Scout’s life as she begins to realize the importance of the trial and what it means.
In conclusion, To Kill a Mockingbird examines the racism and discrimination that defined the south during the 1930s. It follows Scout as she witnesses acts of hatred committed by the people she has known all her life. These are the same people she had thought were good people. The novel portrays the loss of innocence she experiences as a result of these occurrences.

Cite this page

Innocence and Experience in To Kill a Mockingbird. (2020, Oct 27). Retrieved from

Innocence and Experience in To Kill a Mockingbird
Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7