Catcher In The Rye Essay

1518 Words 7 Pages
Innocence, Compassion, and some ‘Crazy’ Cliff A novel, which has gained literary recognition worldwide, scrutiny to the point of censorship and has established a following among adolescents, The Catcher in the Rye is in its entirety a unique connotation of the preservation of innocence and the pursuit of compassion. With certain elegance the writer J.D. Salinger, substantiates the growth and perils, which lie between childhood and adulthood. Embellishing the differentiation between innocence and squalor in the grasps of society. The bridge that lies between these contrasting themes are personified through the novel’s protagonist, Holden Caul-field and his visualization of a cliff, which depicts a dividing point between the evident …show more content…
Behrman writes: "Holden’s difficulties affect his nervous system but never his vision. It is the vision of an innocent. To the lifeline of this vision he clings invinci-bly, as he does to a phonograph record he buys for Phoebe (till it breaks) and a red hunting cap that is dear to him and that he finally gives to Phoebe, and to Allie’s baseball glove." Understanding Holden’s notion of innocence and the role it plays throughout the novel helps to put in tune the underlying message found in Holden’s description of the catcher in the rye. "I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around--nobody big, I mean- except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff--I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all." (Pg. 173) The princi-ple of the catcher in the rye is a means for Holden to devote his life to the protection of innocence. The significance of the catcher image lies in three areas of thought as implied by B. Ramachandra Rao: "First of all, it is a savior image, and shows us the extent of Holden’s re-ligious idealism. Secondly, it crystallizes for us Holden’s concept of good and evil;

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