Evil and Corruption in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

610 Words 3 Pages
Evil and Corruption in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden views the world as an evil and corrupt place where there is no peace. His view of the world does not change much through the novel. However as the novel continues, Holden gradually comes to the realization that he is powerless to change this. In the book Holden succeeds in making us think that the world is crazy. Shortly after Holden leaves Pencey Prep, he checks in to the Edmont Hotel in Manhattan which was "full of perverts and morons. There were screwballs all over the place." His situation only worsens from this point on as the more he looks around this world, the more depressing life seems. Around every corner
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At one point he thinks about heading out west where he would pretend to be a deaf-mute and live a quiet life. At another point Holden proposes to Sally to escape this world with him. It is finally to his younger sister Phoebe that Holden reveals his whole plan. Although Holden describes the situation in a very attractive manner, he basically tells Phoebe that he wants to prevent children from growing up. He blames the world's evil on adults and believes that when he stops the children from growing up he will save their innocence and the world. It takes most of the book before Holden begins to realize that he is helpless to stop this corruption. Finally, he realizes that not only is there nothing that he can do, but there is nowhere he can go to hide from it. It takes Holden awhile to understand this. One good example is when Holden is delivering the note to his sister. He encounters an expletive written on the wall. Holden careful rubs this off with his hand so as to protect the innocent children from reading it. Later on he finds the same expletive scratched into the surface with a knife. He discovers that he can't erase this one. Even in the timeless peace of the Egyptian tomb room at the museum there is an un-erasable expletive. This situation is the beginning of Holden's understanding that his dreams of protecting youngsters are hopeless. Ironically enough, it is one of the "innocent" children that he
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