Holden's Search for Innocence

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Holden Caufield, either mentally unstable or too morally advanced for society, misses the innocense of his childhood. Holden's mentality, although confused and seemingly unstable, show the effects of exposed innocence. He becomes frustrated that he does not belong where ever he goes. He travels away from his school with no logial direction for a more internal desire to find his place. Holden has trouble understanding why he does not fit in anywhere and implies mental deterioration from stress. Holden Caufeild struggles with the contrast of society's standards of innocence, change and affection to his own intuitive values.

Holden vainly seeks for innocence in society only developing anger and depression as a result. Holden acts disturbingly at the thought of Jane, his childhood friend, having a casual encounter with his room mate, Stradlater. He remembers Jane as a good girl who really wants true love. Stradlater braggs about his date with Jane and implies having such an encouter with her so that Holden developes emense frustration. Holden shares his thoughts with the reader away from Stradlater, "I kept thinking about Jane, and about Stradlater having a date with her and all. It made me so nervous I nearly went crazy"(34). When Holden stays the night at a hotel he agrees for Maurice, the elevator operator, to send a prostitute, Sunny, up to his room. Instead, he only wishes to talk with her and she reacts bitterly about the awkward incident and leaves. He reveals his sympathy for Sunny thinking to himself, "The trouble is i just didn't want to do it. I felt more depressed than sexy if you want to know the truth. She was depressing"(96). Holden makes it evident he longs to establish a personal connection with people in a deeper sense and strives to understand them. Visiting his sister, Phoebe, Holden sees a profanity scratched on the wall of the museum. Upon seeing it he reveals, "I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it,...
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