Salinger 's ' The Catcher 's The Rye '

1303 Words Apr 5th, 2016 6 Pages
Irving Howe, a literary and social critic said, “The knowledge that makes us cherish innocence makes innocence unattainable” (BrainyQuote). The Catcher in the Rye, a novel by J.D. Salinger tells of a very important part Holden Caulfield 's life. Holden, a 17 year old from New York, writes about the events that follow him flunking out of Pencey Prep School. Holden is very critical of everyone around him, except the small group of people that he protects with his life. He cherishes the youth children have, and hates the qualities that adults share. He acts very young for his age, but has the responsibilities on his shoulders that an adult would have. Holden is very defensive of other’s innocence and attempts to selfishly protect it from the world’s dangers at all costs. Innocence is a virtue, but can never be permanent, because the loss of it is inevitable, and is the passageway to adulthood for everyone, which shows that it should not be protected as Holden wishes. Innocence is the stepping stone to adulthood, and once it is lost, the shroud that shields from the dangers of this world disappears. This makes it necessary that people must lose their innocence, because it is the first step into the adult world for everyone. Holden cherishes the naivety and the invincibility that innocence brings to those that still retain any amount of it. Holden lost his innocence at a young age, when his 15 year old brother Allie passed away from leukemia. He feels a deep connection with…
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