Innocence In The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger Essay examples

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In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye, Holden Caulfield, a seventeen-year-old boy, transitions from childhood to adulthood. The death of Holden’s little brother signifies the beginning his loss of innocence and growth of maturity. As he enters adulthood, Holden views society differently from his peers by characterizing most of his peers and adults he meets as “phonies.” Thus, Holden takes the impossible challenge of preserving the innocence in children because he wants to prevent children from experiencing the corruption in society. The Catcher In The Rye embodies Holden’s struggle to preserve the innocence of children and reveals the inevitability of and the necessity of encountering the harsh realities of life. As a child,…show more content…
Although Holden “hardly even know[s]” James, he sees him as someone who is real and not phony, admiring his resistance to lie (Salinger 171. The deaths of Allie and James cause Holden to contemplate suicide in order to escape the world of phoniness he lives in. Consequently, Holden’s constant thoughts about suicide lead to his own loss of innocence and advancement toward adulthood. Likewise, Holden is also consistently rejected when he seeks help from others. On Saturday night, Holden rides the cab to Ernie’s. During the ride, Holden “sort of [strikes] up a conversation” with Horwitz, the cab driver, about the ducks in Central Park (Salinger 81). Holden does not know where to go and feels lost, relating himself to the ducks during winter. However, Horwitz blatantly shows no interest in the ducks and diverts the conversation to the fish in the pond instead, thinking that winter is “tougher for the fish” (Salinger 82). Despite his curiosity, Holden quickly drops the conversation after seeing that Horwitz is getting frustrated with him. In addition, Horwitz also rejects Holden’s invitation to have a drink. Later on, Holden hires Sunny, a prostitute. Although Holden claims to be a sex maniac, he is still a virgin. Thus, as Sunny begins to take off her clothes, Holden feels peculiar and embarrassed. He notices Sunny’s childish habits, such as her “teeny little wheeny-whiny voice” and lack of use of vulgar language (Salinger 94). In addition, Sunny starts “jiggling her
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