September 25, 2017
Innocence Transition into Experience
Innocence is perceived in our society as a desirable trait. It is at odds with guilt making it the preferred of the two. Innocence however, can be at odds with experience as well. In this case, innocence can weigh down an individual and disallow them from being as elevated as they could. In the short story, Blue Bouquet, a man is visiting a town when one night he decides to take a walk in the dark. He begins his journey in awe of the town, but is soon aware of the dangers that lurk in the corners. As he is walking he confronts the antagonist who desires a bouquet of blue eyes. Spared by the encounter for having brown eyes, the protagonist, shaken, leaves town the next day. In Octavio Paz’s short story, Blue Bouquet, he presents the idea that the escape of ignorance is the driving force towards the transition between innocence and experience, because in ignorance an individual will make mistakes that result in eventful experiences. However, innocence must be kept in moderation as without it one may become weary and engulfed with situations out of their control. Without innocence, the joy and bliss in life may be lost.
Ignorance consumes the human being, and the way that it is warded off is through the gathering of knowledge that we obtain with experience. It is the loss of ignorance that constitutes the loss of innocence. At the beginning of the story the protagonist is ignorant of his surroundings, and fails to take due precaution. While in his room, he remains, “barefoot” (p.163) even though there may be, “scorpions leaving [their] hideouts” (p. 163). The protagonist is oblivious to the danger of his surroundings which is shown in his choice to take a walk, even though it is pitch black, with, “no streetlights around” (p.163) and he is alone in a foreign town. An individual who has experience with danger would understand that these predicaments do not correlate to a joyful stroll. Octavio Paz presents this idea through the symbolic meaning of the wall, it is the colour white which traditionally is a symbol for purity and innocence. However, when the moon, “appear[s] from behind a black cloud” (p.163), the speaker is, “blinded by the whiteness” (p.163). Keeping innocence in too large a quantity allows it to become blinding; it blocks the knowledge and ideas that can only be accessed through experience. In the end, shaken by his experience the protagonist makes the knowledgeable, rational choice to “[leave] town” (p.165). He has realised the insecurities of the town are not worth the risk. His blindness due to ignorance has lifted and uses the knowledge of his experiences to seek safety. A simple way to avoid being consumed by innocence is to embrace experiences that provide needed knowledge for proper decision making.
The transition between innocence and experience is necessary and inevitable, as some time or later innocence is drawn to experience. Paz depicts this with...