The Theme Of Innocence In Catcher In The Rye

Decent Essays

"The Catcher in the Rye" is an account of the main character, Holden Caulfied's, time in New York and his quest to understand life. It is a rather sad tale since Holden grapples with life, but fortunately it ends positively. This essay will discuss to which extent the above statement is true. One of the major themes in this novel is innocence and how Holden wishes to protect the innocence of especially young children. He believes that growing up means losing your innocence and entering the superficial, unauthentic (or phony, as he likes to call it) world of adults. Incidentally, Holden is caught up in limbo between the world of a child and that of an adult. This causes Holden to doubt his place in the world and leaves him in a depressed state …show more content…

One becomes so befriended with Holden that his inability to enjoy life to its fullest and to accept that life is all about change, grieves the reader. The events described in the novel also points to the world's cruel ability to put on a phony mask. All of this makes the novel sad, but not necessarily because of the emotionally gripping story, but rather because of the reader's empathy for Holden. However, "The Catcher in the Rye" ends on a positive note. In the second to last chapter as Holden watches his sister Phoebe riding the carousel, he realizes that changing and growing up is part of life and that you have to experience certain things in order to have a more fulfilled life. Although the novel does not describe what happens to Holden after he has this epiphany, it still leaves the reader withe the hope that Holden will succeed in embracing life and all of its trials. To conclude, "The Catcher in the Rye" is a sad novel but the hopeful way in which it ends is the positive conclusion to a tale marked by trials and tribulations. The novel, and Holden, greatly succeeds in giving a true to life account of what it means to live

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