Holden's Loss Of Innocence In Catcher In The Rye

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Holden Caulfield dreams of being a “catcher in the rye”. This job would entail preventing small children from accidentally skipping, running, or hopping off a cliff. We are led to believe that the edge of this cliff is adolescence, with adulthood waiting below, claiming the innocence and joy of those who fall victim to it. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden frequently expresses his thoughts, including thoughts on politics, Lillian Simmon’s “knockers”, phonies, and the loss of innocence. He seems almost fascinated with innocence, whether he recognizes it or not. Occasionally, Holden acts upon these thoughts; however, it’s not always for the best. Holden’s thoughts often come back to his younger sister, Phoebe, as he can’t bear to think of her …show more content…

He expresses this hatred in violence or in silence. He chooses to resolve whatever occurs with internal or external methods. There was a snowball Holden formed, which he referred to as the “perfect” snowball. He didn’t dare to ruin or blemish it, so it was left unthrown. Silence. Silence isn’t always his solution. Early in the novel, he results to violence when Stradlater, a former classmate, ruined Holden’s mental picture of innocence relating to a former friend, Jane. Holden likes to remember Jane as the girl keeping her kings in the back row when playing checkers, not as the girl Stradlater screwed and left. Instead of listening to that particular story ramble on, he clenched his fist and punched Stradlater. Violence. Another instance occurs in which the violence exclusively appears in silence. At the school he had attended when he was young, offensive graffiti litters the halls. This upsets Holden to the highest degree. He tells himself that he “kept wanting to kill whoever'd written it” (Salinger 201), yet he takes no direct action in uncovering the culprit or causing him harm. Holden has developed a keen sense of when innocence is slipping away, so that he may have a chance to prevent it. What would happen if he saw signs of innocence slipping away in his

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