Study Guide

How I Live Now Innocence

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When Daisy first arrives in England in How I Live Now, she's astounded by the innocence of her cousins in their countryside house, especially Piper. For a while, she gets to enjoy being a part of their untouched, utopian lifestyle, but utopias never last, and hers ends, too. First, Daisy embarks upon a decidedly un-innocent relationship with her cousin, and then their lives are thrown into shambles when war reaches their home front. Needless to say, by the time all is said and done in this book, very little innocence lingers.

Questions About Innocence

  1. What are some ways in which Daisy's descriptions change throughout the novel to indicate a shift in innocence? Give examples, please.
  2. How I Live Now paints an image of a utopian, innocent world in the English countryside, free from many modern conveniences and corruptions. Is this world more ideal than the one we currently live in? Why or why not?
  3. What sort of statement do you think the author is trying to make about innocence and corruption, especially with respect to modern convenience, technology, and warfare? Use the text to support your claim.

Chew on This

Although Daisy constantly refers to herself as someone who's seen it all and worries about corrupting her impressionable cousins, it is clear from her own thoughts, actions, and speech patterns that she is more innocent than she realizes.

How I Live Now argues that technology has gone too far, that another world war is inevitable, and that the ideal solution is to return to a simpler time.

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