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Preservation of Innocence In The Catcher in the Rye Essay

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Themes in literary works are central, recurring ideas or messages that allow us to understand more deeply about the characters. It is a perception about life or human nature that is often shared with the reader. In The Catcher in the Rye, there are several themes that can be found in the words and actions of the narrator, Holden Caulfield. The dominating theme in this novel is the preservation of innocence, especially of children. We can see this throughout the novel, as Holden strives to preserve innocence in himself and others.
In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden’s outlook in life is either the innocence of childhood or the cruelty of adulthood. He believes that the innocence of childhood is very valuable and it should be protected from the cruelty and phoniness of the adult world. Therefore Holden has a desire and is compelled to protect a child’s innocence at all costs. This is revealed when Holden tells Phoebe that he wants to be the catcher in the rye. Holden says to Phoebe, “What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they’re ru...


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