You are on page 1of 3

ELA 20-1 “The Blue Bouquet” Essay

Discuss the idea Octavio Paz develops about an individual's transition from innocence to experience?

The transition in a person from innocence, or naivete, to experience, or the voice of reason and thought from previous knowledge, is a somber one, for we say goodbye to our purity and are inaugurated into a harsh world. The naive may believe this statement, but upon further review it becomes clear that the transition between innocence and experience is ultimately necessary. In Octavio Paz’s The Blue Bouquet the protagonist is faced with a dangerous situation, one where afterwards he subconsciously realized it was necessary to make the metamorphosis between innocence and experience. His naivete skewed his perspective of the world, and thus made the transition crucial; this was made clear through Paz’s use of literary techniques. His previous perspective consequently put him in a very dangerous situation, and made him act fatuously. In The Blue Bouquet readers should learn that the transition from innocence to experience is one of necessity, because your inexperience does not allow you to realize the true state of the world around you. This worldview not only results in a misshapen facade, but this bent mentality can cause people to act foolishly.

In Octavio Paz’s short story, it is clear that Octavio Paz is saying the transition between innocence to experience is necessary, through his use of symbolism pertaining to a mere cigarette. In the story, the protagonist: “Threw his cigarette down” (p.2) The cigarette in the story can be used to represent many different things. Firstly, the cigarette can be seen as the finite of our naivete in today’s world; as the cigarette burns, the light will inevitably go out. The light represents our purity and immaturity, which will go out with time no matter what you do to stop it. Furthermore, the cigarette, “falling like a shining curve, shooting out brief sparks like a tiny comet,” can be seen as a shooting star across the night sky. Shooting stars are most often seen as a symbol of hope and innocence, but in the case of the falling cigarette it is

Paz uses the symbol of eyes. Baby Blue Eyes are a common flower. This is reflective once again of the necessity for us to transfer from ingenuousness to experience.#2) the antagonist explains as he’s holding a machete to the protagonist. White is often used as a symbol for innocence and purity. their eyesight is not yet developed. and he lost much of his ability to perceive the world around him. but in the story. In his short story. For while the protagonist was blind. Furthermore. This symbolises the blindness that innocence causes. this is parallel to the effects of naivete on an individual. this results in the individual to act foolishly. reflected through the transition from inexperience to maturity. not realizing the full effect of your surroundings on yourself. She wants a bouquet of blue eyes” (pg. This is reflected as a symbol in The Blue Bouquet for blue eyes represent a clouded worldview. Blue eyes are most often associated with innocence and newborn children. gaining melanin as they age. Failure for people to transition away from innocence results in foolish actions. Firstly he uses the crumpled white wall as a symbol for immaturity. and she was probably referring . and the dangers associated with it. for naivete causes their outlook to be skewed. Also. what the antagonist doesn’t realise is that his girlfriends request was actually less morbid. “My girlfriend has this whim. and the colours they represent. when babies are newborn. As you can see. and in order for them to clear. Paz’s use of literary elements effectively show that jejunity blinds and clouds the perspective of a person. he had one of his senses taken away. for our lives must eventually face our inexperience and make the inevitable shift in character. Paz uses various literary elements to show this. they gain the power of sight. through Octavio Paz’s use of a cigarette he shows us that the transition between jejunity and maturity is necessary. as they gain colour in their eyes. for when babies are newborn there eyes are a dark blue. The shift from innocence to experience is ultimately necessary because innocence by definition is a distorted view of the world around you. this is because naivete creates a clouded worldview. Paz uses subtle dramatic irony to show the naivete of the antagonist in the story. the white walls brightness ended up blinding the protagonist.inevitable that this star will hit the ground. they must go through a transformation of colour.

Octavio’s choice for the boardinghouse owner to have a missing eye is an interesting one. the protagonist’s failure to transition from innocence to experience sequentially caused him to act blindly. we see that the antagonist’s lack of reasoning and logic caused him to be in a rather macabre situation. and shows that his experience could have saved the Protagonist from the events that transpired next. for innocence itself is not understanding the true state of the world around you. rather than a bouquet of human eyes. but this bent mentality can cause people to act foolishly. because innocence obfuscates the mind. because naivete was clouding the outlook on his surroundings. Through this. . Unfortunately. The transition from innocence and naivete to experience and understanding is one of absolute necessity in today’s world. The main character of the story is faced with a very climacteric moment in his life. but does not heed those warnings. His previous mindset was one of great danger. This worldview is not only a lie. one where afterwards made the development from innocence and experience. In Paz’s work. when he is warned by the boardinghouse owner. Another example of the failure to transition between naivete and experience is the protagonist at the beginning of the story. for it shows what the consequences of the Protagonist’s actions could be even before we are introduced to the conflict of the story.to those. and doesn’t allow you to live up to your full potential. for it got him into a vulnerable situation. one of possible mortality. the reader must realize that the transition from innocence to experience is essential. His missing eye is representative of the wisdom gained by the boardinghouse owner through his trials.