Losing Innocence In TCITR, By J. D. Salinger

479 Words 2 Pages
Losing innocence has always been a disputed theme for any book. In the novel, TCITR, J. D. Salinger pushes the limits by creating commotion regarding certain elements of his story. TCITR has been a source of controversy since its publication. The controversial scenes of prostitution, discovery of profanity on the school wall, and Holden’s strange encounter with Mr. Antolini depict Salinger’s overall message of protecting and sometimes losing innocence.

The prostitution scene with Holden and Sunny, the prostitute, describes a desire to maintain innocence . Therefore, Holden wants to eliminate his loneliness by protecting his innocence and seeks friendship in Sunny. Holden craves for company, for someone to talk to. He does not even care what they talk about, as long as they talk. Holden says, “I just thought perhaps you might care to chat for a while” (Salinger 106). Holden then makes up a lie just to preserve his naivete. He reluctantly sends Sunny away after she tries to corrupt him.
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When Holden discovers the “F- you” on the wall at school, he “thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it” (Salinger 221). Holden tries desperately to erase it and, ultimately succeeds. He knows, if he left it there, “some dirty kid would tell them...what it meant” (Salinger 221). However, if Holden caught the child who wrote it, he would “smash his head on the stone steps” (Salinger 221). Knowing his character, however, Holden would never actually do that. Instead, this just proves his idea about protecting the innocence of the

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