In The Catcher in the Rye, J.
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However, the various people, places and events that we come across as the story unfolds lead us to doubt the possibility of such a quest. His overriding belief is that this world poses a major threat to the purity and virtue of childhood innocence.
I will now explore the many ways in which Holden attempts to protect this innocence and evaluate the extent to which he succeeds in his quest.
In order to better understand the innocence-threatening world presented to us in the novel, we must first consider its various contextual influences.
The novel, published inis set in post-Second World War America. It was a time of economic boom largely thanks to the enormous financial boost provided by the war. The standard of living for many Americans had dramatically improved as manufacturing output and food production soared and wages rose.
His scorn for it is particularly evident in a conversation he has with Sally Hayes. This spurs Holden on to see himself as defender of innocents, those untainted by the superficiality of contemporary society. Holden equally draws our attention to how adult materialism and corruption is reflected in American prep school culture.
As Christopher Brookeman highlights in his essay Pencey Preppy: He is clearly mocking the shallowness of American society which is so painfully prevalent in the prep school environment.
This may explain why Holden is keen to leave Pencey. It is not conducive to his quest to protect innocence because of its corrupting, conformist atmosphere. Given the way Holden rejects the kind of social rules that post-war American society sought to impose on the younger generation, one could easily identify him as a teenage rebel.
This may go towards explaining the controversy that the novel provoked upon its release. Many objected not only to its offensive language but also to its open discussion of adolescent sexuality. This was because many adolescents could identify with the teenage narrator.
Holden stands up for young people everywhere who felt themselves beset by pressure to grow up quicker and live their lives according to the rules of a superficial society. Consequently, Holden could be regarded as a heroic figure, someone on a quest to defend childhood innocence from a cruel and phony world.
A significant aspect of the phoniness that Holden derides throughout the novel is the corrupting potential of the relationship between audience and artist.
Holden believes that the latter has been corrupted by adulation. Moreover, Holden resents his older brother D. For all his life he has refused to autograph copies of his book, believing it is not something that good writers do. In his view, they simply write without needing the ego boost that fans are only too glad to provide.
Holden reminisces about how used to watch this as a young child, establishing a link between authenticity and simple, genuine enjoyment with childhood innocence. It is what the children around him are going to grow up to know and most likely emulate. Hence his mission to preserve their uncorrupt authenticity seems impossible.
Another aspect of the adult world that Holden feels is threatening to innocence is sex. It is clear that Holden has an ambivalent attitude towards sexual matters: This is most apparent in his thoughts about Jane Gallagher.
Their relationship was never complicated by sex and Holden holds onto simple and innocent memories of her, such as how they would hold hands at the movies or the way she kept all her kings in the back row when playing checkers. We sense that he fears reconnecting with Jane in case she has changed, possibly by becoming sexually mature.
As someone who seeks to save childhood innocence, this process frightens him.
Holden, protector of innocence, reacts in this way because he sees Stradlater as one of its many destroyers. Holden believes that sex should take place between two people who respect each other and have a meaningful connection. This is evident in his decision not to sleep with the young prostitute Sunny.The novel The Catcher in the Rye, by J.
D. Salinger, had a huge impact on the media in the past 30 years. Two of the most famous ones are the assassination of John Lennon and the attempt assassination of President Reagan. Essay – Holden Caulfield is the archetypal 20th Century anti-hero. Discuss. Holden Caulfield is a typical anti-hero from the 20th century who features as the main character from the .
The Catcher in the Rye – That The Novel Justifies the Murder of John Lennon Essay Sample. On the evening of December 8, , Mark David Chapman calmly approached John Lennon outside of his apartment, pulled out a gun and fired five steady shots, four of which hit their mark.
After hearing these messages and reading J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, he came to the conclusion that he had to kill John Lennon. I think that when Chapman had came up with the idea of killing John Lennon, he was in a mental state of turmoil.5/5(2). J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye Essay - Throughout The Catcher in the Rye, J.D.
Salinger uses symbols to give meaning to Holden’s journey through New York City and explain the inner turmoil that drives his mental collapse. The Catcher in the Rye essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.