How does Scout lose her innocence?

Scout loses her innocence in To Kill a Mockingbird when she watches the jury deliver a guilty verdict in the Tom Robinson trial, despite the overwhelming evidence that Robinson is innocent.

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Scout loses her innocence as she watches the Tom Robinson trial. She sees what a good defense her father Atticus mounts of Tom Robinson; Atticus shows that because of his withered and disabled hand, it is impossible for Robinson to have attacked and raped Mayella as she described. Despite the...

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Scout loses her innocence as she watches the Tom Robinson trial. She sees what a good defense her father Atticus mounts of Tom Robinson; Atticus shows that because of his withered and disabled hand, it is impossible for Robinson to have attacked and raped Mayella as she described. Despite the strength of Tom's case, the all-white jury nevertheless declares that he is guilty—simply because of the color of his skin.

Although Atticus has warned Jem and Scout all along that he would likely not win this case, the reality that adults in their community are willing to ignore facts and evidence in order to uphold a racist social order is a shocking experience for both of the children, perhaps for Jem even more so than Scout. After hearing her teacher's comments about the trial, Scout struggles to understand the double-think that can allow her teacher to condemn Hitler for his treatment of the Jews while at the same time approving of the unjust guilty verdict against Tom. Witnessing the ugly racism in her town causes Scout to lose some of her trust in adults, and she must now learn to navigate her community with the knowledge that not everyone in it is a good person.

Scout still has more growing up to do, however, and she matures further at the end of the novel when she realizes that she misjudged Boo as evil despite all the evidence to the contrary (not unlike the jury in the Robinson case). She is humbled at the end of the novel when Boo saves both her and Jem lives from Bob Ewell's attack, recognizing that, all along, Boo has been a good friend to her.

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