Catcher In The Rye Innocence Theme

618 Words3 Pages
The story reflects the critical view of a troubled teenager, Holden Caulfield, towards everyone around him and society itself. This character has a view of the world where everyone should be altruistic, and values purity and naivety over money, sex, and power. Even though, he lives in a world where it’s simply not achievable. Leaving Holden damaged because his own loss of innocence gives him a desire to protect others who have yet to have the realization of how corrupt the world is. In the Catcher in the Rye, the author J.D. Salinger used the symbols such as “the catcher in the rye,” the “Shirley Beans” record, graffiti on the wall, and the characterization of Holden Caulfield as misguided protector, to develop the theme that one cannot stop someone from losing their innocence. Holden’s immature understanding of life and the need to protect children from losing their innocence leads him to desire being…show more content…
When Holden goes to Phoebe’s school to visit her, he sees something in the stairwell, “Somebody'd written ‘fuck you’ on the wall... I thought how Phoebe and all the other kids would see it...I kept wanting to kill whoever’d written it” (221). Infuriated by this because ‘fuck you’, which as an expression, is full of anger, Holden is reminded of how hateful the world can be. Everyone grows up; it’s inevitable. There is no way to stop someone from experiencing life and at some point, they will lose their innocence. J.D. Salinger’s story in The Catcher in the Rye is widely read and studied because it demonstrates a character that invokes relatable feelings of regret of maturing or feelings that the world isn’t as wonderful as you’re led to believe as a kid. You relate to wanting to protect yourself from these things or, as someone who has matured to wanting to protect those you are guardian
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