Holden Caulfield, the main character in the novel, is not the typical sixteen year old boy. Holden has many characteristics that aren't typical of anyone that I know. Holden is very afraid of growing up. He feels the adult world is "phony", everyone in it, and everything associated with it. Holden never actually states that he is afraid of growing up, or that he hates the idea of it, instead he expresses his resistance to become an adult by making the adult world into a place full of "phony", dishonest, and shallow people, and comparing it to the honest, innocent, and fun world a child lives in.
Throughout this book Holden's main quest is to try and preserve the innocence in both him, and in everyone around him. He knows that adults have already taken the path leading to "phoniness", but he tries to save children from this fate that toward the end of the book he sadly realizes is almost completely inevitable. In order to keep the "phoniness" from infecting the children's life, and his, he thinks he needs to preserve the innocence of himself and of the children. The biggest example of his need to preserve the innocence in himself and in all the children he meets in the book is his vision of being the catcher in the rye.
In Chapter 16 Holden hears a young boy singing a song that's lyrics were "if a body catch a body coming through the rye." Before seeing this boy Holden is walking down the street feeling rather depressed, like he is most of the time due to the fact that he gets depressed quite easily. Once Holden sees this boy he automatically cheers up. One reason for this is most likely because this young boy is walking on the side of the street instead... [continues]
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(2005, 07). The Catcher in the Rye. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 07, 2005, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Catcher-Rye-61800.html
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