Analysis Of Holden Caulfield 's ' The Catcher Rye ' Essay

Analysis Of Holden Caulfield 's ' The Catcher Rye ' Essay

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In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield returns to his hometown, where he goes on an adventure to answer the questions he has about life. After being kicked out of his third boarding school, Holden Caulfield spends three days alone in New York.While in New York, Holden constantly thinks about his old friend Jane Gallagher, who Holden’s old roommate just went on a date with the night Holden left Pencey Prep School. He also meets up with his little sister Phoebe and takes her to the zoo to ride on the carousel. One of the many things that the reader is exposed to during Holden’s adventure is his desire to protect the innocent. Holden constantly mentions how little kids are corrupted by the phony adult society and how he would like to preserve their innocence. Holden Caulfield shows his desire to protect the innocence of youth through his memories about Jane, interactions with Phoebe, and obsession with children’s purity.
During Holden’s childhood, he knew a girl named Jane Gallagher who he would play checkers with. Jane had this habit of keeping her kings in the back row of the board because they looked nice. Salinger used Jane’s action of keeping her kings in the back row to express her innocence that Holden remembers. Holden claims that when they used to play checkers, “She wouldn’t move any of her Kings… She’d just leave it in the back row. Then she’d never use them. She liked the way they looked when they were all in the back row” (Salinger 36). The action of not moving the checkers because they looked nice is very childlike, and this childlike action is how Holden remembers Jane. He remembers her as a girl who didn’t care about winning or losing, she only cared about the kings looking nice all lined up. Thi...


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...able to protect their innocence. Alsen said that “the way Holden explains why he wants to be the catcher in the rye show the kindness and unselfishness of his character” (Alsen). Holden wants to protect children’s innocence purely out of the kindness of his heart.
Salinger uses Holden’s memories about Jane, interactions with Phoebe, and obsession with children’s purity to express Holden’s desire to protect the innocence of children. Due to Holden’s love of Jane, Phoebe, and children, he chooses to express his desire toward them . Similarly to Holden, parents today try to protect the innocence of their children whom they love through limiting internet access and trying to cut their exposure of inappropriate topics. Even though times have changed, the desire to protect the innocence of the loved ones is still as strong as it was when Catcher in the Rye was written.

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