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Holden's Escape of Corruption Through Childhood and Innocence in The Catcher in the Rye

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Holden's Escape of Corruption Through Childhood and Innocence in The Catcher in the Rye
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Holden Caulfield was in conflict with the society he was living in. He
regarded it as corrupted and totally insincere; and therefore he
attempted to escape from falling into this corruption of adulthood, by
holding onto his childhood innocence. However he was unsuccessful in
his strong sense of desire to prevent this inevitable fall into
adulthood. Later in the novel after coming to terms with this fact, he
developed a new desire to act as ' The Catcher In The Rye' and protect
the innocent children who have yet not faced the wicked society of
adulthood.

There are a number of ways in which Holden was trying to hold onto his
childhood and innocence. For example Holden struggled to maintain his
virginity. His virginity was a crucial sign of his boyhood innocence,
which was related to his dead brother, Allie and childhood. If he had
let go of that then he would also be regarded as corrupted like his
contemporaries.

Holden wanted to prevent himself from entering into the adult world
which sex strongly revolved around. Sex was something that fascinated
him but also repelled him at the same time. He wished to experience
what it was all about. However he had established that passion was not
dedicated to him, even though he enjoyed women's company and yearned
for a sexual life. Holden was not appealed by the physical reality.

Holden's confusion was clearly shown in chapter thirteen, in relatio...


... middle of paper ...


...t attempt to escape corruption
through means of childhood and innocence, but he had failed. Holden as
implying in his name, 'Hold-on,' attempted to hold onto children and
their thoughts such as phoebe, Allie, James castle, Jane Gallagher and
also his virginity which were symbolic to him of his childhood and
innocence. However time made him come out of fantasy and confront the
true world which he could not deny or delay. Everyone Holden met and
all his contemporaries such as Ackley, Stradlater, Sally, Sunny, Luce
and even Mr Antolini were according to him, corrupted and insincere.
He was in deep fear that he was magnetically being pulled into that
society which he disliked. On the whole, his eventual nervous
breakdown was a result of his inability to adapt himself to the
aspirations and expectations of American Society.


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