Representation Of Loss of Innocence In Literature

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Table of contents

  1. First DEF:
  2. Mango:
  3. TKAM:
  4. BMU:
  5. Final def:
  6. What Changed:

First DEF:

My first definition of loss of innocence was that it was something that came with time, you will be oblivious to losing your innocence until it all happens in one fell swoop, and that it will happen when you least expect it.


The first text we read was “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros. When I chose loss of innocence as my big idea, i already knew what quote I would choose from “The House on Mango Street” because it was such a big moment in the book. When Esperanza says “Sally, you lied. It wasn’t what you said at all. What he did. Where he touched me. I didn’t want it Sally.” It was a big loss of innocence moment for her because she had just been raped and it was a traumatic moment for Esperanza. This first quote supports my first definition with the fact that it all happened in one fell swoop while she was oblivious prior, and that it happened when she least expected it. It also shows that one can lose innocence in a moment of trauma, such as Esperanza did.

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“To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee has a big loss of innocence moment for Scout when the mob arrives to kill Tom Robinson. The crowd is intent on killing Tom and they are threatening Atticus when Scout comes and starts innocently talking to Mr. Cunningham. She realizes that something is wrong but keeps on talking to Mr. Cunningham and brings up his son, Walter saying “I go to school with walter.” I began again. “He’s your boy, ain’t he? Ain’t he, sir?” . She makes the crowd uncomfortable and that causes the crowd to eventually disperse. This is a loss of innocence moment because Scout realizes the lengths people are willing to go because of the prejudice they have been taught in their lives. This connects to my original definition that it happens when you wouldn’t expect it to, but it also shows that it can happen when you finally understand real world issues, it can occur like with Scout understanding what mob mentality is like and seeing pre-formed prejudice occur.


“Bless me Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya is a coming of age story for Tony, and with a coming of age story comes loss of innocence. Tony’s entire character arc is him trying to find out if he is a Marez or if he is a Luna. There is a powerful quote in the text that says “You are innocent until you understand.” This supports part of my first definition that it takes time before you lose innocence. What makes this quote unique is that it takes a positive spin on the loss of innocence unlike the previous two. What the quote says is that once you understand you are no longer innocent. Usually, there is positive connotation to understanding something as it represents you have finally learned something new such as a skill or talent.

Final def:

The final definition of the loss of innocence is very similar to my definition from the start of the year but there are some add-ons to that definition that I found while examining the quotes from the three texts. I found that one can lose innocence during a traumatic event, when you finally understand a real-world issue, and that the loss of innocence can be a good thing as well as bad.

What Changed:

I feel this idea of loss of innocence was viewed by me as something with a negative connotation whereas now I see it as both good and bad depending on the circumstances. For example, with Esperanza, she experienced a traumatic event to lose her innocence whilst someone else could lose their innocence after they finally understand a certain topic.

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Representation Of Loss of Innocence In Literature. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
“Representation Of Loss of Innocence In Literature.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022,
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