Catcher in the rye loss of innocence essay Essay

Holden Caulfield, the protagonist in The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger is a complex young man, filled with many observations about the world around him. Most of his comments tend to be negative and judgmental; however he appears much more enthusiastic and about his younger siblings, and even his past. Events and situations that occurred, both in his past and over the course of the novel, show signs of Holden’s affection for innocence. Children also allow Holden to appreciate the need for a more positive attitude in his struggle through depression.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Catcher in the rye loss of innocence essay Essay
From as low as $9/Page
Order Essay

Lastly, objects and places that have an impact on Holden’s attitude and positivity, symbolize the purity of youth. Although Holden maintains a fairly negative state of mind throughout the novel, he always becomes uplifted by the mention or memory of innocence, something that he deeply cherishes and attempts to preserve in this murky world that he finds himself trapped in. Events, both in the past and present, can bring innocence back into Holden’s thought path, causing him to feel an array of emotions.

One of the most influential events that happened in Holden’s past was the death of his brother, and it has definitely taken a piece of Holden’s innocence. Allie’s death had a tremendous impact on Holden’s life, and it is one of the main causes of his depression: “I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it. It was a very stupid thing to do, I’ll admit, but I hardly didn’t even know I was doing it, and you didn’t know Allie” (Salinger 50). Although Allie is rarely mentioned in this novel, his death had a huge impact on Holden.

The innocence of his younger brother had been lost with leukemia, which deeply saddened Holden. A plot event that also affected Holden’s innocence was the date that Stradlater and Jane went on. Holden knew about Stradlater’s nature with the girls that he dated, and he was very frustrated that Ward was about to go on a date with Jane, and old friend from Holden’s past. Holden’s innocent connection with Jane was being destroyed by Stradlater’s motives, and he wished he could have preserved the innocence of his old friend.

The protagonist’s outburst to this loss of innocence was the event that lead to his premature journey out into the night, and the whole situation helped to spark the negativity that was being presented over the course the three days. Children always bring happiness and innocence to the main character, because they allow him to formulate meaningful memories, and to appreciate the innocence that they provide. Holden imagined a world of purity and innocence, and he wished he could create such a thing: “Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.

Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them” (Salinger 224). This brighter world that Holden imagined brought his spirits up tremendously, and allowed him to take his mind off of his current depression. Holden’s younger sister, Phoebe, was a child who possessed both innocence and maturity.

She was a very important person in Holden’s life, because the aura of innocence that she gave off deeply affected her brother. He loved his sister not only because he had the obligation to love his family, but because she was the best representative of innocence in Holden’s life. Objects and places that Holden came across in this novel also showed signs and pieces of innocence, and Holden greatly appreciated them. Allie’s baseball mitt was a symbol with extreme ties to innocence, because they allowed Holden to happily reminisce about his deceased brother.

The museum is another thing that symbolizes the inevitability that is presented by the loss of innocence: “The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move…The only thing that would be different would be you” (Salinger 158). The Museum of Natural History symbolized Holden’s fear of changing or growing up, mentioning that there was always something different about him every time he went there. His analysis of the museum represented his desire to hold on to his own innocence, and to prevent changes that could cause its loss.

Anything having to do with youth and innocence, whether it is a person, object, or event, has a very deep meaning for Holden Caulfield, and it even briefly uplifts his emotions. Salinger shows love through the innocence that was portrayed in various things throughout the novel, and he uses Holden as the ultimate symbol of love and innocence, which is slowly being whisked away by the inevitable process of the loss of this purity. For Holden, innocence holds the key to a brighter world, and Holden refuses to be victimized by the loss of innocence as he journeys through the city that refuses to sleep.

 

Examples of Thematic Essay on StudyMoose

  1. Phoniness and Innocence in The Catcher in the Rye Essay
  2. Innocence in Catcher in the Rye Essay
  3. Catcher in the Rye Essay on Holden’s Inconsistencies Essay
  4. The Use of Symbolism within Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye Essay
  5. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger Essay

The Homework Writings
Order NOW For A 10% Discount!
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Our Advantages

Plagiarism Free Papers

All our papers are original and written from scratch. We will email you a plagiarism report alongside your completed paper once done.

Free Revisions

All papers are submitted ahead of time. We do this to allow you time to point out any area you would need revision on, and help you for free.

Title-page

A title page preceeds all your paper content. Here, you put all your personal information and this we give out for free.

Bibliography

Without a reference/bibliography page, any academic paper is incomplete and doesnt qualify for grading. We also offer this for free.

Originality & Security

At thehomeworkwritings.com, we take confidentiality seriously and all your personal information is stored safely and do not share it with third parties for any reasons whatsoever. Our work is original and we send plagiarism reports alongside every paper.

24/7 Customer Support

Our agents are online 24/7. Feel free to contact us through email or talk to our live agents.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price:
$0.00

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

We work around the clock to see best customer experience.

Pricing

Flexible Pricing

Our prices are pocket friendly and you can do partial payments. When that is not enough, we have a free enquiry service.

Communication

Admission help & Client-Writer Contact

When you need to elaborate something further to your writer, we provide that button.

Deadlines

Paper Submission

We take deadlines seriously and our papers are submitted ahead of time. We are happy to assist you in case of any adjustments needed.

Reviews

Customer Feedback

Your feedback, good or bad is of great concern to us and we take it very seriously. We are, therefore, constantly adjusting our policies to ensure best customer/writer experience.