Mitchell has been much preoccupied with innocence. His sympathies have always attached themselves to those, whether children or not, who are subject to authorities imposed upon them by busybodies and boards, by custom and compact, by men of property and women of probity….
[The] focus of innocence in How I Spent My Summer Holidays is Hugh, who tells his story, and who decides that its proper start is in the summer vacation of his twelfth year. The beginning of summer holidays represents the re-entry into a special temporal dimension. If it is possible to experience eternity, it is here. In their idle days Hugh and his friends conform to the evocative description given by Shakespeare's...
(The entire section is 815 words.)