Loss Of Innocence Essay

Loss Of Innocence Essay

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The setting for Montana 1948 is a small rural community where the pioneer family about which the tale evolves controls the law and the medicine. The plot for Montana 1948 is mixed with racial tension, sexual abuse and murder. The Hayden family is torn between justice and loyalty in this novel. The setting for Sons and Lovers is near a coal and iron field of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire in a small community where everyone keeps to themselves. In DH Lawrence's novel, Sons and Lovers and Larry Watson's Montana 1948, many of the characters are affected by temptation and devastation. The result of this disillusionment and giving into temptation is a loss of innocence for many of the characters in these two novels. Loss of innocence is a loss of trust in a person or the loss of one's view that "life is fair." For example, David Hayden from Montana 1948 grew up thinking life was fair till he lost his innocence. Uncle Frank lost his trust in the world and as a consequence, lashed out at everyone around him. Paul Morel from Sons and Lovers lost his innocence at a very young age. He was confronted with disappointments which changed his life throughout the novel. Both of these novels demonstrate that a loss of innocence is inevitable and is caused by a lack of care in a society to prevent the youth in that society from growing up not trusting the world. This is done through a child seeing his father beating his mother, a child who finds out Santa Claus is not real, a worker whose coworker takes credit for his ideas or even a child who is abused by someone. The novel Montana 1948, revolves around David Hayden's life and his loss of innocence while growing up. David's loss of innocence continues until the end of the novel when he is in his late forties. David grows up being faced with many difficult situations. An example of this would be the racial tension that exists in Montana between the Indians and the Americans. He witnesses fights between the Indians and the Americans in a bar. People in the town always discriminate against the Indians and David has to decide what he thinks is right or wrong. In addition, an uncle who doesn't obey the law and has bad behavior lives in his family's house. David was abused by his uncle when his uncle would come back from the bar. Frank would try to beat someone in the house but Wesley, David's father, would stop him most of the time if he was home. The abuse affected David's view of the world and he developed a sullen attitude towards his family. He would also ask himself many questions such as "I wonder what might happen if I killed my uncle. Would everyone's problems be solved? Would my father be relieved? Could I get away with it?" (P.? David's thoughts) David was a very clear thinker. He made judgments about everything in his life. He would decide whether he liked a person or not just by his first impression and not by getting to know the person. He also vandalized a wall in his town where he knew everyone would see it. David's world changed once he lost his view of life being fair. David must overcome this situation to become successful in his life. He has been held back by the many problems in his life such as his mother and his uncle mistreating him. David cannot rise above his problems and solve them to lead a good life. Although Uncle Frank changed David's life, his own life took a turn for the worst after he lost his trust in the world. Uncle Frank went through a very rough life and affected many people in the process. At the beginning of the novel, Uncle Frank, a physician, is not seen as a major player in the plot. His loss of trust in the world came when he was young and he was arrested by his own brother for participating in a bar fight at a young age. He losses his faith in his family after being arrested. He evolves into a very bad person and causes lots of heartache for his family and the townspeople. The problems he made for the Hayden's were significant. He abused David when he was a young boy, broke all the Hayden's pickle jars, sexually assaulted and murdered Marie Little Soldier, their housekeeper at the time. Uncle Frank assaulted Marie when she went in for an appointment with a doctor. The people of the town realized what uncle Frank was doing and they were going to charge him with sexual assault. Subsequently he killed Marie Little Soldier to remove any possibility of her testifying against him. To hide Uncle Frank's guilt Wesley locked Uncle Frank in the food cellar of the farm. Uncle Frank got so mad that he broke all their bottled food supplies. At this point Uncle Frank comes to the realization that he has done too many terrible things in his life to make up for and commits suicide in the food cellar. Perhaps if he had felt that he had more support early in his life he would have been able to make the right decisions and have had a good life. After Uncle Frank's suicide, David seemed to feel more comfortable at home and around his family. He had hated Uncle Frank and thought about killing him, although it is not known whether he actually would have gone through with the murder. Paul, from Sons and Lovers, is another character who experiences a loss innocence. He entered the Morel's life by being found on the ground one day by Mrs. Morel. His first impression of life was that he had been abandoned and that he had no one to take care of him. Even his childhood memories in his new home were that he would come home from band night at the school and find his mother with a black eye, beaten by his father. Other nights he would go to bed weeping and try to listen to music to drown out the noise that his father would make while beating his mother. This crushed Paul's view of the world. He had to face other disappointments in his life that caused him not to trust society. It was always said that in Paul's house William was the favorite child, although after William died Paul thought he was "promoted" to favorite son and he couldn't understand why there had to be a favorite child that gets all the attention. The fact that he wasn't always the favorite son and that it took a death for everyone to like him, destroyed his trust in others. He looked at the world as a very dark scary place where he had no one to trust not even his family. He had relationships with women and found it hard to find a good, loving partner such as his relationship with Miriam Leivers. Their relationship lasted for a long time but it was a conflict between his mother and Miriam and she lost in the long run. Ms. Morel got very ill and Paul decided to take care of her. Miriam didn't want to wait for Paul to marry her so she left him. Paul tried to reconcile with Miriam but she had lost her trust in him and didn't want to be involved with him. David Hayden also did not have good relationships with women. He found it hard to communicate his feelings because he felt that women would ridicule him if he tried to be romantic. All the girls laughed at David when he asked them to dance. The authors use two different styles of writing. DH Lawrence is very blunt and right to the point in his novel. He tells the story of abuse through the eyes of a child that is learning as he goes on. Larry Watson doesn't use a direct approach to his novel he uses an indirect style of writing. Larry Watson uses a subtle approach where the reader has to use his mind to imagine the picture of the book. A example of this would be when David walks into the cellar after uncle Frank has killed himself David is shocked but it doesn't say exactly what happened to him. "Uncle Frank's head was one my father's shoulders, blood dripping down my fathers shirt, I couldn't watch." ( P. 162 David) In conclusion, both of these novels are prime examples of the inevitability of a loss of innocence. Both novels had characters that lost their view of the world as being a fair place. Every character lost their innocence in some way whether by sexual abuse, suicide or power struggles in a family. Similar situations to those described in the novels happen in our daily life. Examples of this in our world are all around us. One example would be when a child has his bike stolen, he feels that he has been cheated against by someone else. If anyone has felt the feeling of loss of trust in people they can loss their trust in many other things and not have a pleasant life at all. Even a country can have a loss of innocence, such as when Ben Johnson took steroids to win the gold medal for Canada. The damage affects everyone, some more extreme than others. No matter how good or bad, the damage is done and there is always pain and heartache in the end.

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