Preserving Innocence Essay

943 words - 4 pages

Growing up is a complicated and emotional phase that everyone has to experience. Our innocence is like a mask that blinds us from perceiving life as it really is. As we grow up, we lose our sense of innocence and begin to see the world differently. In the book The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield is a teenage boy who fears maturity for himself and the children around him. The theme of innocence is found throughout the novel, as Holden struggles to protect the innocence of children from the superficiality and shallowness of the adult world.
The theme of innocence is illustrated when Holden visits the Museum of Natural History. Holden’s thoughts at the museum show that he is overwhelmed by the change and complexity of growing up. Holden enjoys being at the museum because it is a consistent and predictable place, and he knows what to expect every time he visits it. “The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move” (121). Holden wishes that life could be just like the museum, where all the figures and displays stayed exactly the same. If life never changes, people would never have to grow up, and children would be able to remain innocent forever. “Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone” (122). In this quote, Holden is specifically referring to children. According to him, all adults are phony and superficial. He fears that as children start to mature, they will begin to realize the sinful and unpleasant nature of reality, and become the phony adults that he resents. He believes that the only solution for children to retain their innocence is to never expose them to the real world.
Holden’s determination to preserve innocence is revealed when he visits his house in Manhattan. When Holden goes into the room where his sister is sleeping, he is delighted by all the childish objects that he finds. He looks in her notebook and is pleased with the random scribbles and drawings in it. “I went around the room, very quiet and all, looking at stuff for a while. I felt swell, for a change” (159). Holden loves being around children and childish things because they give him a sense of innocence and immaturity. The idea of children losing innocence terrifies Holden. He does not want them to be contaminated with the phony ways of reality; neither does he want them to have to deal with the responsibilities that come with being an adult. These reasons give Holden determination to help children remain pure....

Find Another Essay On Preserving Innocence

The Innocence of Childhood in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

1562 words - 6 pages that some things just cannot be controlled. Overall, Holden’s negative perception of the concept of change shows his passion for preserving the innocence of children, and preserving the innocence of his own childhood in the process. In conclusion, “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger explores the preservation of innocence through a young teenager’s efforts to help youthful children maintain their childhood due to his own fear of growing up

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

1698 words - 7 pages contradiction, his bipolar desires lead him to mental instability from an already questionable mental state. In The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger explores the complexity of mental illness through the male protagonist, Holden Caulfield, during his impossible mission of preserving the innocence of others. Throughout the novel Holden Caulfield deals with a complex variety of emotions that lead to a mental breakdown. In the beginning of the novel he

The Desire to Perpetuate the Purity of Children

1451 words - 6 pages , innocence is shown through the pond and Holden’s desire for being a “catcher in the rye”; through Phoebe, Allie, and Sunny for their adolescence; and through the carrousel and the Museum of Natural History for their conservation. In the novel, Holden Caulfield establishes the theme of preserving innocence because of his loathing for deceptive people. Preventing and protecting children from enduring adulthood demonstrates this innocence through the pond

DNA Profiling

1445 words - 6 pages statutes in place that compel automatic preservation of evidence upon conviction of a defendant (Innocence Project). Preserving biological is crucial towards proving innocence or guilt when reviewing a case. Some courts do not even consider newly discovered DNA evidence after a trial(. In 2004, Congress passed the Justice for All Act; this bill provides financial incentives to states that preserve evidence and withholds the same monies for those

The Influence of Women in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger

933 words - 4 pages his defensive side throughout the story. He feels so strongly about these two characters that it becomes arguable that Holden has no concern for preserving the innocence of children, but rather preserving the purity of women. The book displays a practically infinite number of opportunities to enter a romantic relationship with Jane. With this in mind, Holden still allows himself to lose her to Stradlater for no specific reason. This is because

Explore the ways Seamus Heaney presents emotions and experiences in “Digging” and “Death of a Naturalist”

672 words - 3 pages . (The subject being sexual reproduction) This somewhat patronises Heaney and his classmates, However, she may be doing this simply to preserve the children’s innocence. She has succeeded in preserving their innocence, due to there being no more significance attached to the frogs’ sexual processes, than to the thought that they may represent the weather; “For they were yellow in sun and brown in rain”. In “Digging” It is also clear that he

Film Analysis on Kung Fu Hustle

752 words - 3 pages illustrate how she conveyed herself indirectly. Then Mute Girl handed the lollipop to Sing . Although Sing threw the lollipop to the floor and effectively broke it, he came to remember the Mute Girl and his childhood aspiration of "preserving world peace". The lollipop was broken but its sacrifice and the suffering of the Mute Girl, indeed, kicked off the redemption process of the childhood innocence. The redemption, however, was not

Innocence Indeed?: Innocence's Dual Actors in Benito Cereno

2973 words - 12 pages another as the gray fowl are to the vapor. Thus, the story blends good and evil, compromising the innocence of the characters in thought as well as action, while still preserving some innocence in both the black people and the white people. The black people demonstrate innocence of action both in their motivations and their actions, which are justified though tainted with deception. Innocence of action measures whether the good of an action

An Influential Relationship

1532 words - 7 pages mother figure for Lucius, but in the end, his influence has a greater impact on her. Everbe reaches out to Lucius, surrounded by poor male role models, filling the necessary role of a positive maternal figure while on his Memphis odyssey. Her venerable (PSAT Vocab) actions guide him away from the non-virtue presented by Boon, Ned, Butch and Otis, in order to sustain his fading innocence. Everbe first tries to preserve his virtue by

Catcher in the Rye Symbolism

1594 words - 7 pages the time – like Ackley, for instance – but old Stradlater really did it. I was personally acquainted with at least two girls he gave the time to. That’s the truth” (63). Holden unlike other people believe preserving innocence is important. His friends at Pencey, want to be the least bit innocent. Holden wants to preserve the innocence of the world’s children. In Holden’s eyes nothing is innocent anymore. The symbols the catcher in the rye, the

Dying to be a Martyr

1664 words - 7 pages ; furthermore, martyrdom appears to Holden as a way of avoiding his own responsibilities and assuaging over Allie’s death and children losing their innocence. Through Holden’s actions and thoughts it is revealed that Holden reveres Allie and other devoted people, constantly carries around the burden of children losing their innocence, and imagines himself as a martyr. Throughout the story, Holden views his deceased brother Allie as well as other devoted

Similar Essays

Innocence In Holden In The Catcher In The Rye, By J.D. Salinger

1363 words - 5 pages the corrupted values of adult society” (Evertson 70). This is a quote from the Criticism of Evertson showing that the pathway of adulthood is unsatisfying and corrupted. Evertson also discusses the obsession Holden has with everything being the same. An example from the criticism that show this is “Holden’s obsession with preserving time and innocence, such as his aching nostalgia toward the Museum of Natural History where the displays never

Comparison Between "Lord Of The Flies" And "Catcher In The Rye"

1014 words - 4 pages of being the catcher in the rye. The catcher in the rye symbolizes that Holden is on an imaginary cliff, trying to keep the children from falling off. The rye symbolizes childhood and innocence, but falling off would mean falling into the "phony" world of adult-hood. Holden wants to keep the kids on the rye preserving their innocence. In the Lord of the Flies, the boys are stuck on an island without adult supervision and quickly lose their

Innocence And The Catcher In The Rye

824 words - 3 pages The innocence of childhood is eventually ripped away from us all. In J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye Holden Caulfield wishes to dedicate his life to preserving the innocence of everyone. Holden wants to save what was so cruelly ripped away from him with the death of his brother. Holden at first believes that he can be "The Catcher in the Rye," but he eventually comes to understand that it is both impossible and wrong to attempt such a

The Complexity Of Holden Caulfield Essay

676 words - 3 pages contradiction, his bipolar desires lead him to mental instability from an already questionable mental state. In The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger explores the complexity of mental illness through the male protagonist, Holden Caulfield, during his impossible mission of preserving the innocence of others. Throughout the novel Holden Caulfield deals with a complex variety of emotions that lead to a mental breakdown. In the beginning of the novel he