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Innocence in The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger Essay

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One of the purist times in a person’s life is childhood, during this time life is easy and often romanticized. As a person grows older the innocence and naivety of childhood begins to fade into a hardness caused by the harsh realties of adulthood. Though the transition from childhood is hard, one most remember not to rush into adulthood savor your innocence . In Catcher In the Rye , by J.D. Salinger the main character Holden Caulfield is in the transitional stage, he finds it hard for him to grow-up and act like an adult. So instead of rushing in to adulthood, he finds slowing down the process and acting less adult like is better for him. Holden finds mature adult like subjects and qualities phony, but finds innocent child like subjects and qualities pleasant. When Holden describes his little sister, Phoebe, he say’s “you never saw a little kid so pretty and smart in your whole life.”(Salinger 67) Even though he calls all of his family members smart he is not as sweet about them as he is with Phoebe, as an example, he call’s his older brother D.B. “a prostitute“. (Salinger 2) His assumption of his siblings is based on their decision and actions he calls D.B. a prostitute because of his decision to become a Hollywood writer instead of remaining a short story author. It seems that Holden Admires and flocks over Phoebe’s innocent childhood bliss. The quote shows how innocence play’s a key role in the way a person judges another person. Also innocence is considered to be good, while anything other than innocence is consider bad or corrupt. In the end the main point that J.D. Salinger is trying to convey is that the time of innocence and childhood should be cherished and held onto tightly.
As mentioned before Holden has an im...


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...en he went to his sisters school and found the words fuck you on the wall he was upset. He felt the need to protect the kids by trying to wipe away the degrading words. He said, “it drove me damn near crazy…. I thought how Phoebe and all the other kids would see it.” (Salinger 121) It just baffled Holden how someone could be so careless not to think about the innocent eyes that may see those slenderest words.
In all the book is about innocence. Many people told Holden to grow up but he was just basking in the innocent bliss of childhood. Holden hated how harsh the world is he felt that the people were to harsh and needed to slow done the processsess of growing up. Salinger just thought that people should slow down and enjoy the time when the world seems innocent and pure.



Work cited
Salinger, J.D. The catcher in the rye. Boston: Little Brown, 1991. Print


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