Innocence In Catcher In The Rye By J. D Salinger

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Catcher in The Rye, by J.D Salinger, addresses an issue that many teenagers have spoken out against in this modern generation- displacement in society. Holden Caulfield, a young adolescent experiences this discomfiture to comply with the rules of society and intentionally tries to stop the inevitable- the loss of innocence. Innocence to Holden is simply a phrase that he is unable to conceptualize. Holden’s idea of corruption of the young, influences his point of views that often differ from his peers, causing him to feel alone and often depressed. He shows his mental instability and his inability to view the world in the same way as people in his age group, and stereotypes loss of innocence with “phoniness”. Holden’s hatred for the corruption…show more content…
He admires the courage, the truth, and the pure innocence that children hold on to when they are young. “While I was waiting around for Phoebe in the museum, right outside the doors and all, these two little kids came up to me and asked if I knew where the mummies were. The one little kid, the one that asked me, had his pants open. I told him about it. So he buttoned them right up where he was standing talking to me – he didn't even bother to go behind a post or anything. He killed me,” (202). Holden finds that this lack of “phoniness” is admirable and the fact that children weren’t ashamed and that they were able to go on life without worrying about what other people think. However, Holden’s comparison from children to adult can be seen with Phoebe. He says that “You take adults, they look lousy when they're asleep, but kids don't. Kids look all right. They can even spit all over the pillow and they still look alright,” (159). He indirectly compares sleep to the loss of innocence, how adults become lousy when society starts to corrupt them but kids look still cute doing the same things because they’re pure in heart. Holden also shows his admiration for children as he reads Phoebe’s notebook, adding that “kid’s notebooks kill me”. In Phoebe’s notebook he sees that the innocence that Phoebe possesses allows for her to write exactly what she is thinking without modifying anything-another trait he finds that…show more content…
Teenagers in this generation have started finding the voice that Holden had not found to speak out for their different opinion and their viewpoints. Holden’s feelings of isolation and lack of understanding of death and mortality makes him vulnerable to the overall theme of mental instability and how society’s rules are meant to broken and questioned instead of being followed through

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