Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay

Decent Essays

Generally, when innocence is thought of, the first speculation recalled to one’s mind is the thought of pureness and the idea that the specific individual is free from moral wrong. On the other end of the spectrum is the term known as guilt. Guilt is the emotional notion in which one feels that they have compromised his or her own standards in a negative way. In the novel Sarah’s Key, Sarah frequently proves to struggle with both guilt and innocence. These specific themes are put on display when Sarah realizes she is not going back home, the scenario in which Sarah boards the cattle car to the camps, and the tragic event in which Sarah takes her own life.
Innocence first proclaims itself when Sarah discovers that she is not returning home. Sarah’s behaviour and lack of understanding towards pressing information is a portrayal of how she has been raised to be quite naïve. These preceding traits are revealed when Sarah explains to her brother, “I’ll come back for you later. I promise.” (9). Here, Sarah proves her innocent nature as a result of being raised by her parents in an exceedingly structured way. Guilt emanates into Sarah’s moral conscience when her father confesses that “we are not going back. They won’t let us back.” (23). Furthermore, Sarah’s sheltered upbringing is proved to be true when she smiles at a boy during the roundup and he looks back at her like she’s crazy. She then thinks to herself, “Maybe [I] had got it all wrong. / … Maybe things were not going to

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