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An article I wrote in grade 11 concerning innocence :-)
Innocence: The Hope in Pandora's Box

         Carpe Diem, the mindset of the young and impulsive, is a taboo in a society that shuns individuality. Growing up, we become mindless slaves to tradition, weighed down by the great shackles of responsibility. Adolescence is the calm before the storm, the last time freedom and innocence are tolerated.

          Callous parents hold the leash, and ignoring the poignant pleas for mercy, they reign over their subjects with an iron fist. Elizabeth Winthrop, in the “The Golden Darters,” reveals the tyranny in the common household. Emily becomes a victim of paternal subjugation, cleverly hidden behind the facade of fly-tying. Fearful that disobedience would spark the father’s explosive temper, she meekly conforms to traditionalism. Wariness, however, is soon forgotten, and wildness quickly reasserts itself, leading to outright rebelliousness. Parties will be attended, ears will be pierced, and the dreariness of life will be forgotten in the ensuing chaos.

          Adults love order. Everything must be labeled; organization becomes not only a necessity but also a way of life. However, teens do not adhere to the carefully constructed code, and they reject the notion of an automated life. They are idealists, with the freedom to explore and to experiment, to fail and to succeed.

          Indeed, creativity is a phase – a passing fad. A cake, a kite, a lollypop – Christian Simmons uses these in Pencil Face as the effigies of whimsy and childhood. Some people may argue that kids want to grow older, but in reality, does the social hierarchy not condemn youths? As adolescents, we may understand the significance of status, but before wholly committing ourselves to this monotonous and inimical lifestyle, we will enjoy our last moments free of responsibility and of stress.

          Unfettered by the looming prosaicness, teens look at the world through eyes shining with naivety and brimming with hope. William Golding, in The Lord of the Flies, envisions a world separate from worry and authority; a utopian society shielded from outside influence. Here, laughing and playing takes priority over mundane chores. A dangerous, uninhabited island becomes an exciting adventure, an ultimate test of courage, endurance, and friendship.

         Yes, being the only different one can be a hard pill to swallow. That’s why we learn early on to forge alliances to combat an oppressive nation. Teens of all kinds unite under a common banner, bearing an insignia of hope and liberty. We fight to break the mold, to escape the dreaded status quo. We fight for the one thing that adults covet: our innocence.

         Sure, our parents may claim that such wildness will only lead to trouble and that we should follow the advice of the “veterans,” but tying us down with leashes only stagnates development. Tradition, honour, discipline, and excellence, the four pillars of the prestigious Welton Academy in Dead Poet’s Society, clearly outlines how physically and mentally demanding adulthood can be. Not only must we follow the “rule book” to the letter but also we must discourage change and individuality. Society is only as strong as its weakest link. Society can only function if everybody is of the same mindset. Society is about doing only what others tell you to do. Yeah, right.

          Raising children to be exactly like their parents seems to be the goal. The system isn’t broken, so why replace it? Right? Perhaps some of those new 3-D glasses would be a worthwhile investment. That way, the countless wars and atrocities occurring worldwide wouldn’t seem so superficial, and society will finally understand that something has to change – soon.

Items referenced to:
"The Golden Darters", by Elizabeth Winthrop
Pencil Face, by Christian Simmons
The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
Dead Poet's Society
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