The Catcher in the Rye: Holden's Realization

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Ben Sisler
AM Lit AP-4
Walter
September 28, 2011
Holden's Realization

Holden Tries to be the "catcher in the rye" and save the children from losing their innocence. He then comes to realize that it's impossible to stop children from growing up. In the first encounter Holden is scared that this "fuck you" will take away the innocence of the children. On Holden's way up the stairs he sees the words and thinks "It damn near drove me crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and wonder what it meant, and then finally some dirty kid would tell them" (201). After this, he erases it from the wall. Holden wants to keep the children from growing up and losing their innocence. After the second encounter with the words Holden tries to rub off the "Fuck you" but he can't because it is scratched in with a knife. After Holden tries to rub it off he says to himself "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. It's hopeless anyway" (202). He This is when he comes to realization that he can't stop people from growing up or losing their innocence. The third encounter is when Holden is at the museum and he is waiting for Phoebe and he sees the "Fuck You" written in red crayon behind the glass part where he cannot reach. After this incident Holden thinks "…somebody'll sneak up and write "Fuck you" right under your nose" (204). Holden now cannot reach this F-you and this symbolizes him not being able to save others from losing their innocence. In conclusion, Holden comes to realization that it is impossible to be "the catcher in the rye".
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