Innocence In The Catcher In The Rye

849 words - 3 pages


In The Catcher in The Rye, by J.D, the main character, Holden, can be seen as a troubled teenager growing up in a less than perfect society. Throughout the novel Holden struggles with the fact that many young and innocent kids will grow up and see the world from a different perspective. He naturally becomes worried for all future generations who will one day grow, as he did, and loose their innocence. The fixation of youth and innocence can be seen in the title of the book, as well as throughout the novel.
Holden has matured in many ways throughout the novel. He had grown from an immature child who only cared about himself to a mature adult who wanted to make something of his life. In the beginning of the story we are introduced to Holden as a forgetful kid who just doesn’t care. He is the manager of the fencing team, yet he forgets to take the supplies off the subway. As the book goes on we find Holden in situations where the reader has realized that he has matured. An example of this is when Holden has a sudden urge to go visit a museum, but when he gets there he decides not to go inside. “Then a funny thing happened. When I got to the Museum, all of a sudden I wouldn’t have gone inside for a million bucks. It just didn’t appeal to me…” (P122) This shows that Holden is maturing and by him not entering the museum his adult side takes over the kid in him.
Through various experiences, Holden’s innocence is revealed, but is slowly being taken as he grows up in a corrupt world. This causes him to want to preserve other children’s innocence. Holden’s innocence is seen through the fact that he is still a virgin. At his age most kids are already sexually active, making them more adult in a way. The reason for this being that they are exposed to many things that younger, and more innocent children are not. With the protection of his virginity comes his innocence. Holden’s innocence is slowly being taken away as the novel goes on. When he goes to New York he is exposed to many things that normal kids are not used to seeing. He sees prostitutes for one thing, people who are the opposite of innocent and clean. Holden also has to be around a lot of phonies who make him realize hat the world isn’t perfect and that people lie and cheat to receive what they want....

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