The Catcher in the Rye
As a child you think of the world as a perfect place where no one can hurt you, but eventually you find out that the world is not as perfect as you think and your life begins to change. Violence, injustice, unfairness and death can change a view of the world. Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is a great example for why the world is not perfect. He is a depressed kid who goes through a lot and figures out that the he can’t protect the innocent and that the world is full ofphonies.
Death can change a child’s complete outlook on the world. Holden is still just a kid when his little brother, Allie, dies. Before Holden accepts the fact that the world isn’t fair and is full of phonies, he is hit with the tragedy of his brother’s death. This forces his life to change and Holden isn’t ready to change:
“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. I even tried to break all the windows on the station wagon we had
that summer, but my hand was already broken and everything by that time…” (39) Holden clearly is not ready to handle such a tragedy because he uses violence to overcome his feelings. Allie’s death set him up for the way he reacts to the world. Holden is afraid of change because he was hurt from it and doesn’t understand that bad things happen to innocent people. Therefore, Holden alienates himself from the people around him in fear of change and in fear of the sight of another innocent thing being destroyed.
Holden views himself as the protector of innocence. He not only views children as the innocence of life, but also has a strong desire to protect the children from becoming a phony as he/she grows up. Holden describes to his little sister that he doesn’t know what he wants to be realistically, but virtually he wants to protect the innocent:
“. . . I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch...
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