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Fall From Innocence in The Catcher in the Rye

Fall From Innocence in The Catcher in the Rye

In J.D. Salinger's , Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield goes through a fall from his innocence throughout his journey to his safe haven, home.

One example of when Holden fell from his own innocence is when he is in the room with Phoebe and he can't name anything he likes. Holden reacts to this question by saying, "Boy, she was depressing me"(Salinger 169). The only three things he can name that he liked were Allie, James Castle, and sitting there chewing the fat with Phoebe. The reason this is a time when Holden falls is because he gets really depressed when he can barely think of anything he liked. The reason I think Holden gets so depressed is because two of the people he names are dead. That's why he is so lonely all the time. Holden finds things in common with Allie and James Castle and since they're both dead he feels, in the back of his mind, that he should also be dead which makes him depressed.

Another example of a fall for Holden is when he realizes he can't erase even half the "fuck you's" in the world. This doesn't sound very important, but it is symbolic because he realizes that he can not be the catcher in the rye. His dream of shielding all the innocent children from society's harsh elements has been ruined by this one statement. Now because of this realization he comes to the conclusion that he can not shield everybody, not even half of everybody. An example of Holden trying to be the catcher in the rye is when Holden first sees the "fuck you" on the wall. Holden said,

It drove me damn near crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other kids would see it, and how they'd wonder what the hell it meant, and then finally some dirty kid would tell them- all cockeyed, naturally what it meant, and how they'd think about it even worry about it for a couple of days. I kept wanting to kill whoever'd written it.(Salinger 201)

Holden's final fall comes when he is in the Egyptian Tomb in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. When Holden is deep within the Egyptian Tomb he feels he is in a...

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