Innocence In Irene Hunt's Across Five Aprils

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Irene Hunt’s Across Five Aprils is about a family struggling through difficult times. Jethro, the main character, has gone through an awful lot for being such a young boy. He has gone through the loss of his siblings to disease and war. He now is understanding more of what war is like because his brothers are fighting thousands of miles away from home. Jethro has been living with the consequences of his brothers actions; which led to an attack on his farm as well as his water supply being compromised. Due to the significant amount of hardship, I believe that the theme is lost of innocence.
A defining moment in the theme loss of innocence is when Jethro changes his mind about war. At first, “ He liked stories of war”(15). At this point in the book, Jethro enjoyed the thought of war because he imagined war as brass instruments playing and uniforms on all of the soldiers. Because of the argument about slavery at the dinner table, Jethro eventually realized that people are split between war. Later that day he stated, “The thought of war had given him a secret delight only a matter of hours before” (31). This elaborates the fact that Jethro is having second thoughts about war. He Comes to a conclusion that the civil war is not how he
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This heart attack caused Jethro to take on more of his father's responsibilities which forced him to gain more maturity. “If someone had asked Jethro to name a time when he left his childhood behind him, he might have named that last week of march in 1862”(92). This was truly an unforgettable moment in Jethro’s life. This impacted Jethro in many ways, one in which he had to take on the responsibilities that his dad had once had. Jethro now knows how it felt to work on the field in different climates. This was one big stepping stone in Jethro’s life which molded him into the man that he was beginning to
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