Catcher in the Rye

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Trials of Life: The Analytical Understanding of Loss of Innocence in Catcher in the Rye
“When you lose someone you love, you die too, and you wait around for your body to catch up.” John Scalzi. This quote relates back to Catcher in the Rye because after Holden loses his brother Allie, he dies a little bit inside and like the quote says, he is waiting for his body to catch up to death of his brother Allie. The story takes place in Manhattan and is about a young boy named Holden Caulfield, it is about the learning experience that takes place and how an immature child tried to come to terms with multiple problems. In J.D. Salinger’s bildungsroman, Catcher in the Rye, Salinger utilizes the symbols, the red hunting hat; Allie’s catching mitt, and the ducks in central park to portray the theme that it is impossible to preserve natural innocence. Salinger utilizes the symbol of the red hunting hat to portray Holden’s loss of innocence and travel into adulthood. Firstly, when Holden is first mentioning the hat, “It only cost me a buck. I wore it, I swung the old peak way round to the back-very corny, I’ll admit but I liked it that way.” (17) Holden is talking about how he bought the hat and just wears it to express his own personality and recognizes that he likes to wear it in different ways. When he is explaining why he purchased the hat, he is trying to make people understand, he is constantly looking for acceptance from his peers and others, yet at the same time he tries to push people away by wearing the hat. This helps show that Holden is on his path to trying to figure out how he can stop the inevitable loss of innocence. Secondly, while walking down the street in the cold Manhattan weather, “My ears were nice and warm, though. That hat I bought had earlaps in it. And I put them on-I didn’t give a damn how I looked. Nobody was around anyway.” (53) As Holden is walking down the street, all he cares about is what he is feeling at that moment, just trying to stay...
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