The loss of innocence in life is an inevitable process. Losing one's innocence comes merely by growing up. The philosophy of the loss of one's innocence is a definite theme in the book Bless Me, Ultima. This theme is displayed throughout the entire story and plot of the novel. There is loss of innocence all around the main character, Tony, with his brothers and the people he meets. Tony also loses a great deal of his own innocence to the harsh realities of the world which marks his transition from a boy to a man.
The theme of the loss of innocence covers the entire essence of the book. There are many cases in the story where people had lost their innocence of life and it was lost to them forever. Tony's brothers are of such a case. They had gone to war to fight for their country and explore the world.
But as they yearned and sought the outside and how it was, they lost their innocence in the process. Being in war they saw death and destruction which soiled their once virgin eyes. Although they gained knowledge and experience they were becoming no longer young and gay, but were becoming mature and knowledgeable. Growing at such a fast pace was a regretful process, that even Andrew advised Tony to not grow too fast but that would not happen as we know.
Another example of loss of innocence in the book would be Tony's friends. The gang seems to be fairly innocent enough but they go through the lesser part of losing their innocence in this story. They have minor things such as hearing about the mischief around town and some of the horrible things that happen. Also the way they talk and act show how their childhood innocence is floating away while they don't even know it. Then, there is the big example in one of Tony's friends, Florence. An atheist, he didn't accept the god of the church whom so many others in the town believed in. He didn't have any faith in anything only because his life had gone through too much pain and harsh experiences. It is understandable of how Florence feels about life and god because of what he had gone through, his parents were dead, her sisters were whores at Rosie's, he had seen and was exposed to too much in such a short time. Children aren't supposed to live through things like Florence experienced and that is what happened to Florence, he knew too much and was yet so young so he had no faith or could not believe in anything.
Tony himself went through the process of growing up and losing his innocence as well throughout the novel. In the beginning of the whole story, Tony is concerned with nothing much but his own little world like every child ought to be. His worries and experiences are really nothing compared to what he had in store for him later on, but although his later experiences would be rather unreal it still would be how any child would grow up, very gradual learning and taking things in stride. So as the story progresses we see that Tony loses his innocence in everything that he learns. Almost every new thing and experience he learns from, the loss of his innocence increases that much more. An example of just one of his many experiences his doubts in god made him that much more knowledgeable about the other powers and wonders that existed in the world. All the doubts and curiosities he had, they made him lose much of his own life's innocence. This is what the story shows really reveals about the theme of loss of innocence, the character of Tony is really a model of what it is like to completely lose one's innocence due time. In the end we see how Tony has completely made his transition from being a boy to being a man.
Innocence in life is always hard to keep and is usually not wanted back until it is too late. We are always in want of knowing more but when we finally reach that point of knowledge we finally realize that we have lost our innocence doing so. The theme of loss of innocence in this novel is well portrayed and is given many angles. The novel really shows the bad reality of losing one's innocence to time and curiosity. Although it is all a part of growing up and maturing through living, I really do have to think back and make the conclusion that innocence is bliss.