Innocence Catcher In The Rye Analysis

1584 Words7 Pages
(b) The purpose of this essay is to discuss Holden’s progression from innocence to experience in The Catcher and the Rye. In this essay I will be discussing Holden’s need to protect the innocent and innocence itself. I will be discussing the way Holden views society and adults. I will also be discussing Holden’s naivety in the way he views the world as well as his own innocence in regards to sex. This essay will be demonstrating how, although Holden makes progress towards the end of the novel in regards to gaining experience, he then regresses to his former state of innocence in the last chapter. The Catcher in the Rye is put into the category of a bildungsroman novel. A bildungsroman novel is typically a novel that moves the protagonist from a state of innocence to one of experience. Bildungsroman novels are coming of age stories. From the moment this novel begins there is evidence of Holden’s desire to protect the innocent, and innocence in itself (Graham, 2007: 39). The first demonstration of this desire of Holden’s, is his inability to throw the snowball he makes at anything in the street because it would disturb the purity of the snow. “I didn’t throw it at anything, though. I started to throw it. At a car that was parked across the street. But I changed my mind. The car looked…show more content…
Throughout the novel Holden ticks off all the criteria needed for his story to be called a bildungsroman novel. He progresses from a state of innocence to one of experience in almost every way except for in a sexual way. Holden remains a virgin throughout the novel and gains a lot of mental experience more than physical experience. Although Holden comes to point of reconciliation towards the end of the novel, he reverts back to his former ways in chapter 26 and subverts the closure of a typical bildungsroman, thus ensuring that The Catcher in the Rye does not entirely fit into the category of a bildungsroman
Open Document