Catcher in the Rye: the Quest for Love

2431 Words Oct 1st, 1999 10 Pages
Catcher In the Rye: The Quest For Love

In many novels in J.D. Salinger's library of books, there is a recurring theme of the loss of innocence of children, the falling and the confusions of childhood, and many other ideas that apply to the ideas of adolescence and the life of the average teenager growing up. Many of his themes occur in a short period of time in a child's life that affects him/her in a very profound and significannot way. The idea of love is also a major theme that arises in many of his characters and that indicates the character of the individual. He uses love in the context of being a device that is used to protect and to care for people who need protecting and caring. In the novel, Catcher in the Rye, by J. D.
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That is why he seeks to find adolescents, to catch them from falling into the kind of fake maturity that they are destined for. He seeks children, free of impurities. At Phoebe's school,

"....I saw something that drove me crazy. Somebody'd written 'Fuck You' on the wall. It drove me damn near crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other kids would see it, and how they'd wonder what the hell it meant, and then finally some dirt kid would tell them-all cockeyed, naturally-what it meant, and how they'd all think about it and maybe even worry about it for a couple of days" (Salinger 201).

He realizes then, that innocence is a very hard part of one's soul to save. This eventually leads him to his final realizations. Holden has a few aspects and thoughts that help him to appease him slightly of the thirst for love. "In childhood he had what he is now seeking- non- phoniness, truth, innocence. He can find it now only in Phoebe and in his dead brother Allie's baseball mitt, in a red hunting cap and the tender little nuns"
(Heiserman and Miller 26). Phoebe is a hope that Holden holds in his heart. Her childish innocence gives him a true and pure outlook that lets him feel secure in her presence. Also, the memories of his long dead brother, Allie, remain in his mind, giving him comfort in the thoughts of the totally innocent

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