Lost Innocence In The Catcher In The Rye

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Lost Innocence in the Catcher in the Rye
Innocence is something that is seen as a trait in children, and can even be associated with being naive. The book ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ however, shows a different side to this. It shows how a young boy named Holden Caulfield travels around New York for 48 hours, and how he sees innocence as a godsend. The book ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ uses symbols such as the idea of being a ‘catcher in the rye’, the ducks in central park, and the Museum of Natural History to convey the theme of lost innocence.

The first symbol that is used in the book is the idea of being a ‘catcher in the rye’ to show how adulthood is like jumping off a cliff, and somebody needs to be there to catch them. This is shown in the book when it says “What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the
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These ducks symbolise how not all change is permanent. This is shown in the book when it says “ I was wondering if it would be frozen over when I got home, and if it was, where did the ducks go. I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over.”(p. 13) . This shows that the ducks fly away and come back, which symbolises how not all change is permanent. Holden wants to preserve his childhood innocence, but at the same time he is growing up and is being ‘corrupted’ by the adult world. The ducks are a symbol that he can try to have both of these things at the same time: being both an adult and a child.e The lagoon itself is also a metaphor for this, as it constantly freezes and unfreezes, heralding change and at the same time a return to what it was before, like how the ducks come and go with the passing seasons. It also is a symbol for Holden’s still youthful and innocent side, as wondering where the ducks have gone is a somewhat trivial and childish thought. The last symbol that is used to explore the theme of lost innocence is the Museum of Natural

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