Highschool Paper on Catcher in the Rye

799 Words Aug 25th, 2013 4 Pages
Innocence and Purity

Innocence is to be free from sin or moral wrong, and purity is freedom from guilt or evil. According to J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, innocence and purity grow weaker with time and life experience. The main character Holden holds onto his innocence and purity for as long as possible before understanding that it is inevitable that he grow up. J.D. Salinger proves that innocence and purity fade with time and age. He proves that life experiences can change a person and compel them to grow up and in turn lose their innocence and purity.

Innocence and purity are crucial aspects of Holden’s life; he does the best he can to hold onto these pieces of himself throughout the book. Holden takes his red hunting
…show more content…
He makes a point of leaving his school before the chosen departure date. He does not like school – he does not see the purpose and he does not wish to think of the future in terms of education or a career. Holden’s older brother D.B. works in Hollywood, and he does not approve. He believes everyone in Hollywood is phony and that the film industry is ridiculous because the movies are “stupid”. Holden refers to many people as phonies. He does not like progression, he hates that the times are changing and that each year he is getting older.

Holden begins to change from life experience and due to spending time on his own. When he hires a hooker, he fully intends to lose his virginity to her. She turns out to be close in age to him and he starts to panic – this young lady appears to be innocent, but she’s not. Holden realizes that in losing his virginity he’d be losing his purity. When he sneaks into his parents’ house to visit his sister Phoebe, who has some insightful things to say, she offers him money. When Phoebe offers Holden her money, he is reluctant to take it, but in doing so becomes very cautious with the use of it. He realizes that his sister is starting to grow up, which means he must be too. Holden learns quite a bit about himself as he wanders the streets of New York and starts to grow up because of it. He witnesses and does many things that diminish his innocence and purity along the way. When he spends the day with Sally he starts to get tired of her

Related Documents