In Catcher in the Rye, the protagonist, Holder Coalfield, is introduced to the readers as a troubled young who desperately wants to protect his youthful innocence. Because Holder constantly faces harsh realities of adulthood and world, he is even more compelled to protect innocence. He wants to protect not only his, but also those around him. Holder feels that childhood is something to be saved and kept, instead of learning the truth of adulthood since the adult world is an impure place that corrupt kids and ruin their perfect perception of the world.
Throughout the book, Holder travels from place to place, discovering how adults truly act. As he gets sick of seeing such corrupted society, he wishes to escape from reality by talking to his younger sister, Phoebe. In chapter 22, Holder discusses what he wants to be when he grows up with Phoebe. He says that he wants to be the “catcher in the rye” and he doesn’t know why but that is the only thing he would like to be. He explains in a big field rye, he will be standing on the edge Of a cliff, catching kids as they got close to the cliff.
The big field Of rye represents childhood and the Owe is made high to limit kids from looking beyond, just as children are unTABLE to see beyond their borders of childhood. Holder wishes to stand where the rye field of childhood and the cliff of adulthood separates, and protect kids from falling Off the cliff into the impure world Of adults. He aims to be the savior of the innocence in the world around him, a world that let him fall alone into the abyss of adulthood. In order to be the protector of innocence in the world around him, especially Phoebe, he erases the “buck oh” graffiti in her school.
He erases the marks because he wants to preserve phoebe’s innocence. He doesn’t want her to fall over the cliff beyond the rye field because Holder already knows what she will have to go through. He wishes her to stay innocent as long as she can because once you fall, you can’t climb back up. Another scene where he wants to protect the innocence Of phoebe is at the ending Of the book. Holder lets Phoebe ride a Carousel in order to calm her down from being mad at him about not letting her run away with him.
Throughout the whole book, the only time Holder seems truly happy is when he sees Phoebe riding the carousel. He seems to have an epiphany here. The carousel has a gold ring and whoever grabs the gold ring, despite all Of the risks involved, they get a prize. The gold ring represents hopes and dreams that we must reach out to in order to attain. He sees Phoebe going for the ring. Although it is a risk, he must let her because he realizes that what he truly wants from being a “catcher” in the rye is to protect Phoebe from all the corrupted things that adults do but not Stop her from rowing up.
He can slowly guide her down the cliff, instead of her falling off by herself. There are some other scenes that show that he not only wants to protect the people close to him but even a stranger. After all of the catching up in New York City, he is persuaded to have a prostitute up in his room. He sets his mind up and decides to lose his virginity but the moment he looks at Sunny, the prostitute, he changes his mind. He takes a glance at her and realizes that she looks a little too young to be a prostitute.
He tries to be the retractor Of the innocence by only chatting with her and not doing anything sexual. Prostituting is act Of adulthood that is too corrupted for a kid or a young person to experience. He tries to have a nice conversation with her and protect her innocence. The Catcher in the Rye perfectly portrays a typical delinquent-like student who has a problem about everything in society. He is also very judgmental on everything that he lays his eyes upon. I think Holder is the way he is due to the way he lived over the past 1 7 years.
He has moved from different riveter schools, faced the death of his lovely younger brother and experienced the corrupted adult society by himself. Although Holder seems shaken up, he has a side of him that is caring and gentle. I understand some of the actions that he takes such as drifting into a whole new topic in his head while talking to an adult because I do that quite often. Holder seems to be really edgy and annoying but also very sympathetic. He has been scarred by what the society has thrown at him such as Allis’s death and no one to guide him through the reality.