Theme Of Innocence In Catcher In The Rye

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An obsession with innocence leaves one predestined to be wedged between a world of childhood and that of adulthood. In JD Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye we are introduced to one of the most complex protagonists of literature, Holden Caulfield the antihero. Holden’s fixation with innocence leads him into a desperate search for connections to people who portray childlike and pure characteristics to which he feels he can identify with. Throughout the novel, Holden struggles to avoid conforming to the norms of society. In the process, he finds himself attracted to the very things he wants to avoid, falling prey to a loss of self and corruption along the way. Three specific encounters are paramount in his journey; Jane Gallagher, a girl he clearly …show more content…
His memory of Jane cannot transform Sunny into a virgin and the purity of Phoebe cannot stop the inevitable passing of time, Holden will become an adult. One might contend, however, that Holden’s stronghold onto childhood innocence, is not necessarily as bad as conforming. On account of said obsession to preserve his own childlike nature as well as that of others, he wishes to be "the catcher in the rye" to protect the children from falling off the cliff. The field symbolizes the childhood world, whereas the cliff symbolizes adulthood. Holden doesn 't want the children to struggle in life just as he is. He wanted children to stay children and preserve their pure nature due to the fact that he doesn 't want them to fall in the corrupted and complicated world of adulthood. Though he can’t legitimately catch all of the children, he still attempts to preserve that innocence within others by hanging on to critical childlike things about them rather than admitting that they are growing up and most importantly that he is as well. However, these attempts come to no avail as you can’t avoid growing older, no one can. Eventually everything loses purity and becomes just as corrupted as everything

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