The Importance Of Innocence In Catcher In The Rye

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Catcher in the Rye Essay Children are only innocent because of their unbiased and positive outlook on the world. But soon enough, their exposure to reality will dismantle the innocence that they have. There will be a point in their life where their positive attitudes, dreams of doing everything, and wild attitude disappear and are lost forever. As children grow up, they are pushed into a world where stress, anxiety and decisions are prominent and therefore destroy the remnants of their childhood innocence. Taking place in the east coast of the United States, Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s novel, Catcher in the Rye, runs away from his problems and finds himself in New York. Along his journey, he attempts to prolong the innocence…show more content…
An important time in Holden’s past was when he “slept in the garage the night [his brother] died” and his emotional instability at that point caused him to “[break] all the goddam windows with [his] fist” (50). Because of his young age, Holden refuses to accept that his brother, Allie, is gone from his life. Holden’s premature exposure to death resulted in an untimely loss of innocence. Knowing the affect of death firsthand, he sees the value of innocence in the youth and the importance in keeping it as long as possible. During his runaway journey, he befriends two nuns and discusses his thoughts on how Mercutio’s death “was Romeo’s fault… It drives [Holden] crazy if somebody gets killed… and it’s somebody else’s fault” (145). A strong sign of his inability to recover is that he blames himself for his brother’s death. Holden seems himself as Romeo and Allie as Mercutio. Although he could not help Allie at all, he still places the blame on himself. Because he knows the negative effect of a premature loss of innocence, he clings onto his belief of innocence in the youth. His realization of the importance of innocence contributes more to the value of the theme throughout the
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