Catcher In The Rye Mortality Theme

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The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is a novel written from the point of view of Holden Caulfield, a sixteen-year-old boy who is learning about the struggle of growing up and finding one’s purpose in the world. He feels it is important to protect children from losing their innocence and becoming “phony” adults. After getting expelled from school Caulfield travels back home to New York for the rest of the week where he encounters multiple life changing events and conflicts. Salinger illustrates the major themes of lost innocence, mortality, and change throughout the book.
One of the most prominent themes of The Catcher in the Rye is Innocence. Innocence is recognized as a theme when Phoebe asks Holden what he wants to do with his life.
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Throughout the novel Holden finds himself talking to his younger brother Allie who has been dead for about three years. When Holden fears for his own existence, such as when he feels that he might disappear, he speaks to Allie. CliffsNotes states “Holden associates death with the mutability of time. He wishes that everything could just stay the way it is, that time could stand still, especially when something beautiful happens.” Holden is haunted by the thought of Allie. He idolizes his dead brother. He regrets not doing certain things with him and believes his life was taken way to young. "I know he's dead! Don't you think I know that? I can still like him, though, can't I? Just because somebody's dead, you don't just stop liking them, for God's sake – especially if they were about a thousand times nicer than the people you know that're alive and all.”(Salinger). Allie’s death is one of the main reasons Holden is emotionally unstable. Allie made Holden happy and Holden regrets taking his love for granted when he was alive, Which caused him to be so attached to Allie. Not only is Holden having to grow up mentally the biological time is catching up with him. Holden fears life and
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