Childhood Innocence is Everything in Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

770 Words4 Pages
Everyone’s mother always told them that childhood innocence is the best thing in the world, but for Holden it is the world. When reading The Catcher in the Rye some people disdain Holden, because they think he’s cynical and immature, but really he is a representation of us all. Unlike other books, the protagonist isn’t someone you want to be friends with, it’s someone you realize you are. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is Holden’s chronicle of running away from his boarding school and living on his own in New York City. While there, he meets interesting people that he calls phony but in reality reflect characteristics of himself and the appalling qualities of the culture he lives in. At first he’s pessimistic towards everyone and…show more content…
Everyone’s mother always told them that childhood innocence is the best thing in the world, but for Holden it is the world. When reading The Catcher in the Rye some people disdain Holden, because they think he’s cynical and immature, but really he is a representation of us all. Unlike other books, the protagonist isn’t someone you want to be friends with, it’s someone you realize you are. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is Holden’s chronicle of running away from his boarding school and living on his own in New York City. While there, he meets interesting people that he calls phony but in reality reflect characteristics of himself and the appalling qualities of the culture he lives in. At first he’s pessimistic towards everyone and everything but by the last scene, when he’s watching his sister on a merry go round, he does a complete 180 and starts feeling better, the sun comes out from behind the clouds and it’s a new and better Holden. It’s this last scene that sets the stage for the future of Holden. He changes in a good way, now less cynical and more open minded, a better and healthier person. The carousel scene serves as a climax for the book. Holden realizes that he won’t be able to create a utopia where children never reach the phoniness of adulthood. Now he understands that “if [kids] want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything” (211). They should be allowed to make mistakes on their own, and learn from them without any
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