Innocence In Catcher In The Rye

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Allie, Holden 's younger brother who dies as just a child, is a major symbol throughout the story, which represents the innocence in childhood that Holden strives to save. Allie’s death creates a lot of turbulence in Holden’s life especially because Holden looks up to Allie as a role model. When Holden remembers incidents from his past involving Allie, his attitude changes, such as when he writes the composition about Allie 's baseball glove or when Holden breaks his hand after punching all of the windows after Allie dies. This change in attitude is basically going from happiness to upright anger because the one person that Holden likes, dies and there is nothing he can do to bring him back. Allie makes Holden a better person, and when…show more content…
Similarly, “Comin Thro’ the Rye” is also one of the most obvious symbols in the book because it suggests that Holden is the savior of innocence in the book. Holden hears a little boy humming to the tune of the poem and it makes him feel “better…not so depressed anymore” (Salinger 129). This quote is appropriate in the symbolism of innocence because it talks about incorporating a loss of innocence even though Holden wants to be the protector of innocence for children. The meaning of the actual poem has no effect on the moral of the story, it is the way that Holden mistakes the lyrics of the “song” (Salinger 191). Instead of the actual catcher “[meeting] a body” in the “poem,” Holden thinks that “[catching] a body” in a “song” (Salinger 191), is the correct version. With the help of Phoebe, it is important to see how Holden manipulates the poem into the fact that he is the catcher, who saves people from falling into the corruption of adulthood. Holden does not refer to the poem, he refers to his own version of it. Near the end of the book, Holden persuades Phoebe into getting onto the carrousel. At this rate, Phoebe believes that “[she] is too big,” but Holden assures her that he “[will] wait for [her]” (Salinger 231). This is the important part where Holden is completes his job as the catcher in the rye. Phoebe thinks that she is too big to enjoy the ride anymore, which makes her scared of getting hurt. Holden has the chance to save her by encouraging her to…show more content…
Likewise to this scenario of change, while walking through New York City, Holden arrives at the Museum of Natural History. This museum represents the lack of change in which Holden is stumbling upon. He likes the glass cases that the exhibits are on display in because “everything always [stays] right where it [is]” (Salinger 135). He wishes to place parts of his life in glass cases because the act of changing is frightening due to the fact that something is lost in the process. A prime example of this is how much change Allie’s death brings due to the fact that Allie is lost. Holden remembers going to the museum as a happy time with his teacher because the museum is resistant to change. The museum also makes him happy because “only thing that [is] different [is the person]” (Salinger 135), whereas “[someone can] go there a thousand times, and that Eskimo [is] still just [finishing] catching those two fish” (Salinger 135). However, he chooses to stay outside in his most recent visit because he is afraid that there is a chance that the museum goes through changes since his childhood. Holden knows that if the museum changes, he can get hurt, so he makes a conscious decision to not go in, even though his reasoning is subconscious. Jane Gallagher is an example of Holden rejecting change because she goes through some changes since his childhood and Holden is horrified, so if Jane has the ability to change, the museum also has a high chance of undergoing similar
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