In the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger implies that loss of innocence can result and discovering the truth of the artificial adult society that prevents people from finding their happiness, but in the end it is inevitable, and eventually all youth will have to unmask reality.
From his past experiences, Holden firmly believes that a majority of people in the world are phonies, and he wants to shield adolescents from the adult world. When Holden decides he wants to run away out west and live there for the rest of his life, he goes into Phoebe’s school to pass a note he had written, explaining his situation. There, he had found something that had revolted him,“But while I was sitting down, I saw something that drove me crazy. Somebody'd written "F--- you" on the wall. It drove me damn near crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and how they'd wonder what the hell it meant, and then finally some dirty kid would tell them...I kept wanting to kill whoever'd written it...I saw another “F--- You” on the wall. I tried to rub it off with my hand again, but this one was scratched on, with a knife or something. It wouldn’t come off,”(Salinger 201). In this case, the person who had written the explicit language on the wall exemplified the phony people in his life that he has so much hated for, corrupting children’s innocence. Holden yearns to protect the children from the outside world, full of arrogant and self-absorbed people who make Holden’s life miserable. Protecting them from the non-genuine, cruel world is what Holden feels is his main goal, to steer them in a different direction, so they will not end up being full of hatred, like Holden. After he realizes that the second phrase was scratched in, he gave up. He knew it was hopeless because he knew he couldn’t scratch out all of them in the world, and he couldn’t try to stop what was going to eventually occur, children seeing the explicit words. This symbolizes how Holden...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document