Study Guide

Passion Innocence

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Warm nostalgic glows, summer vacation, first love, teddy bears, and sleepovers—we all tend to agree these things fall into the "nice" category. A lot of that may have to do with an idea that these things are innocent, or that they are most often associated with childhood. But for all our cheerleading, we often have a weird relationship to innocence. Sometimes it gets sexualized (like with schoolgirl uniforms.). We celebrate it but also expect it to stop at a certain age. Being too innocent or childlike as an adult can draw suspicion, but all the while, the people who feel suspicious of all that childlike innocence probably sometimes get nostalgic about childhood and how it seems like all that innocence has slipped away. You can see some of this confusion around innocence at play in "Passion." For Grace, losing innocence means coming of age, and don't we tend to see that as a good thing? But coming of age means becoming an adult and losing a lot of the joy of being a kid. So what's Grace supposed to do? All she can do is keep getting older, and all we know is thinking about all of this leads to a lot of thought knots. 

Questions About Innocence

  1. Are there any characters in "Passion" that appear innocent?
  2. In what ways does Grace struggle with coming of age?                                 
  3. Is there any imagery or symbolism that involves losing innocence?
  4. Is coming of age a good thing?             

Chew on This

The Thanksgiving drive with Neil is an allegory for Grace's coming of age.

Grace is still innocent at the end of the story.

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