Catcher In The Rye Loss Of Innocence Essay

Innocence In The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger Essay examples

1412 Words6 Pages

In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye, Holden Caulfield, a seventeen-year-old boy, transitions from childhood to adulthood. The death of Holden’s little brother signifies the beginning his loss of innocence and growth of maturity. As he enters adulthood, Holden views society differently from his peers by characterizing most of his peers and adults he meets as “phonies.” Thus, Holden takes the impossible challenge of preserving the innocence in children because he wants to prevent children from experiencing the corruption in society. The Catcher In The Rye embodies Holden’s struggle to preserve the innocence of children and reveals the inevitability of and the necessity of encountering the harsh realities of life. As a child,…show more content…

In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye, Holden Caulfield, a seventeen-year-old boy, transitions from childhood to adulthood. The death of Holden’s little brother signifies the beginning his loss of innocence and growth of maturity. As he enters adulthood, Holden views society differently from his peers by characterizing most of his peers and adults he meets as “phonies.” Thus, Holden takes the impossible challenge of preserving the innocence in children because he wants to prevent children from experiencing the corruption in society. The Catcher In The Rye embodies Holden’s struggle to preserve the innocence of children and reveals the inevitability of and the necessity of encountering the harsh realities of life. As a child, Holden experiences the death of a loved one. Holden’s little brother, Allie, “got leukemia and died…on July 18, 1946” when Holden was thirteen (Salinger 38). Holden sees Allie as the nicest and “most intelligent member in the family” (Salinger 38). In addition, because Allie dies when he is eleven, Holden does not understand why someone with the amount of talent Allie possessed would have to die before growing up. Despite his death, Holden continues to think about Allie and does not “enjoy seeing him in that crazy cemetery…surrounded by dead guys and tombstones” (Salinger 155). Allie is someone that Holden formed a personal relationship with, and because of his death, Holden experiences a change in his perception of society and life. This

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Innocence in The Catcher in The Rye Essay

851 Words4 Pages

In The Catcher in The Rye, by J.D, the main character, Holden, can be seen as a troubled teenager growing up in a less than perfect society. Throughout the novel Holden struggles with the fact that many young and innocent kids will grow up and see the world from a different perspective. He naturally becomes worried for all future generations who will one day grow, as he did, and loose their innocence. The fixation of youth and innocence can be seen in the title of the book, as well as throughout the novel.
Holden has matured in many ways throughout the novel. He had grown from an immature child who only cared about himself to a mature adult who wanted to make something of his life. In the beginning of the story we are introduced to…show more content…

At his age most kids are already sexually active, making them more adult in a way. The reason for this being that they are exposed to many things that younger, and more innocent children are not. With the protection of his virginity comes his innocence. Holden’s innocence is slowly being taken away as the novel goes on. When he goes to New York he is exposed to many things that normal kids are not used to seeing. He sees prostitutes for one thing, people who are the opposite of innocent and clean. Holden also has to be around a lot of phonies who make him realize hat the world isn’t perfect and that people lie and cheat to receive what they want. This is seen with Mr. Ossenburg, who takes advantage of other people while they are mourning their loved ones. He takes their money, which is supposed to go to a grave, but just ends up keeping it and throwing the bodies in a ditch. Holden meets many more phonies, and doesn’t want other children to be exposed to their dishonest nature.
Holden then realizes that he wants to help preserve children’s innocence before they go out in to a corrupt world. He wants to become a catcher in the rye, and catch children before they go off the “cliff”, as he did. “ What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff- I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.”(P173) Holden can be compared to peter pan in the

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