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Word Count: 645
Peoples ideals have a certain innocence about them just as people themselves do The ideals held by the respective characters in Mr Smith Goes to Washington and Passing all vary in degrees of innocence The ideals of most men are innocent at the core but have become jaded and hidden behind the cynicism and realization of maturity The influences of society and ones surroundings contribute to the make-up of innocence and trigger changes within it Innocence can be said to be a product of ones environment and both texts Mr Smith Goes to Washington and Passing offer validation to this theory Jefferson Smith the epitome of idealism and symbol of innocence is the only one who seems unfazed by a change of scenery Saunders on the other hand is the perfect example of someone whose ideals remain intact but are not expressed due to her surroundings and social status Saunders does however change and in a way becomes more innocent with the arrival of Smith Irene in the novel Passing also has a set of ideals which have an innocent quality about them which are tainted only by Irenes desire to enforce them Irenes goal of equality between blacks and whites is one that most people can relate to but when her personal feelings come into play her ideals have to be somewhat compromised at least in her mind Irene maintains a certain loyalty to Claire based on their race but in Irenes mind she despises Claire for not living up to her ideals She does not like the fact that Claire has attained equal status with whites The reasoning for Irenes hatred is that she despises the society in which they live because the only way Claire attained her status was through passing as white Irene of course has made a concious effort not to pass into a white lifestyle permanently even though she has the ability to Passing as someone else is
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