28 February 2013
Innocence of Youth
In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger shows how an adolescent boy develops a cynical outlook on life, causing him to feel isolated. Salinger uses Holden to interpret change from the innocence of youth to the responsibilities of adulthood. Holden’s confusion represents that difficult change a person experiences while growing up. He is trying to find his place in the world, but certain obstacles are preventing him from moving forward. The path to redemption is difficult for him because he doesn’t want to accept the responsibilities of being an adult.
The novel shows that through adolescence a person faces many new changes that can be difficult to accept. Holden wants the preserve the innocence that a person has as a child. His cynical views of the world develop through his experience with the corruption of the adolescent world. “Certain things, they should stay the same. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone, I know that’s impossible but it’s too bad anyway.”(Salinger 122) Salinger points out that, changes are not always positive and it would be easier if we could preserve some things. Holden doesn’t want to face the reality of adulthood because he hasn’t experienced many events that show the positive side of being an adult.
Holden’s search for moral values is a difficult and lonely path because of his minimal success of finding them. “Holden speaks of his loneliness and depression; the story of a few days in his life indicates how sad and lonely his search for moral values is in which he finds them to be sorely lacking.”(Walters 3) The search for innocence and moral is often times very lonely due to the constant heinous events that occur. Characters like Holden want to realize a better life that is away from the corruption of civilization. (Walters 3) Throughout his life, Holden experienced many events that show the corruption of...
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Salinger, J D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, 1951. Print.
Vanderbilt, Kermit. "Symbolic Resolution In The Catcher In The Rye: The Cap, The Carrousel, And The American West." Critical Insights: The Catcher In The Rye (2011): 297-305. Literary Reference Center. Web. 22 Feb. 2013.
Walters, Gordon. "The Catcher In The Rye." Masterplots, Fourth Edition (2010): 1-2. Literary Reference Center. Web. 22 Feb. 2013.
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