To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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What are direct quotes about how Scout and Jem Finch lose their innocence in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The loss of innocence is a significant theme in Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Here are three quotes that are relevant to this theme:

School started. The second grade was as bad as the first, only worse—they still flashed cards at you and wouldn’t let you read or write. (Chapter 7)

As narrator, Scout reveals her memory of the start of second grade, which was a disappointing experience. As a precocious young girl, Scout possessed an endless supply of natural curiosity, and school seemed to stifle her growth rather than encourage it. Though Scout didn't necessarily suffer any pain as a result of her school experiences, she did learn a difficult life lesson in these early days of working with adults: not all adults will treat her as her father has treated her, and some adults will in fact treat her unfairly.

“It was just him I couldn’t stand,” Dill said.

“Who, Tom?”

“That old Mr. Gilmer doin‘ him thataway, talking so hateful to him—”(Chapter 19)

In this scene, Dill...

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Further Reading:

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