Catcher In The Rye Research Paper

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Dahong Jiang 11/9/15 Mr. Kim Freshman Composition Innocence is one of the few types of things in the world that cannot be retrieved if it is lost, no matter how hard one tries. In the minds of many, innocence may appear as an angelic and beautiful thing, which it is to a certain extent. However, innocence may seem contradictory some of the time. To gain knowledge means to sacrifice innocence and to preserve innocence may mean to stay in one spot and never progress. This can be shown in the book The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist, being in a world filled with sadness and loneliness strives to protect the innocence of children despite the fact that he isn't innocent…show more content…
While the world around him is breaking him down, Holden sees innocence as the brightest light. His thoughts constantly show him despising the "phony" or the people who are no longer innocent, and saying how the world is filled with them. For example, his dislike for his old school was shown very clearly and he explains " One of the biggest reasons I left Elkton Hills was because I was surrounded by phonies ... For instance, they had this headmaster, Mr. Haas, that was the phoniest bastard I ever met in my life ... On Sundays, for instance, old Haas went around shaking hands with everybody's parents when they drove up to school. He'd be charming as hell and all. Except if some boy had little old funny-looking parents ... then old Haas would just shake hands with them and give them a phony smile and then he'd go talk, for maybe a half an hour, with somebody else's parents. I can't stand that stuff."(17). Holden seems to always accuses adults and grown people to be the phony ones while children are the innocent ones. This is justified by the fact that he is always happy around children. While Holden cannot think of a clear future, his idea of protecting the children lead to the fantasy that he will work as a "catcher in the rye" and protect children from falling into an abyss representing the phoniness of the world. As stated in the book " Anyway, I keep picturing all these little…show more content…
This is shown as Holden get affected by his avoidance of "phony" people due to his goal. This in turn led him to cut off from many people who are "phony" and leave him lonely , which causes his sadness. However, when he does give up his dream job of protecting the innocence of people after he let his younger sister, Phoebe reach for the golden ring on a carousel ride, which represents taking a risk, he is much happier than when he was acting on protecting innocence. This shows that protection of innocence was the reason for all the sadness that Holden was facing throughout the story. It shows how in the real world, the gradual deterioration of innocence of people is inevitable and should not be controlled or preserve or it might give the person drawbacks such as little experience of the

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