The Startling Contrast Between Innocence and Experience in The Innocents by Michael Crummey

The Startling Contrast Between Innocence and Experience in The Innocents by Michael Crummey

I finished The Innocents last night, and I’m still trying to process all that occurred within in the space of the last few chapters.

At first glance, The Innocents is a story of survival–how a brother and sister fend for themselves in a deserted cove off the shores of Newfoundland. Diving further into the book, however, there are nuanced layers and disturbing themes I didn’t foresee. The ending left me disturbed, shocked, and contemplative. I was reminded of the Romantic English poet, William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Especially the contrast between the “The Lamb,” in the first section and “The Tyger’ in the latter. I felt the characters in this book were a merging of the two contrasts: innocent, and yet so far from innocent at the same time.

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