Essay on Into the Rye

Submitted By BlueAbyss
Words: 606
Pages: 3

A catcher within rye, what importance do these words actually possess? Holden, the main character in the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, has been expelled from numerous schools, but still has hopes for his future. However, his dream drastically differentiates from what a normal teenage boy would hope to achieve in his future. He aspires to eventually be exactly that, a catcher in the rye. Holden wishes to intercept and seize any of the kids that fall off the the cliff from the rye fields, essentially protecting the kids’ innocence. The cliff that Holden speaks to Phoebe about represents the tainting of innocence. As his little sister Phoebe questions him about his future profession, Holden points out his personal preferences. He describes his goal as, “...I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff-I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.” (173) Holden speaks about the children running around, and if they were to run off the precipice, he would stop them from falling. Kids themselves are the very definition of innocence, being as harmless and carefree as they are. This leads them to do reckless things, such as going off the ‘cliff’, or finding out about the world and the evils and truths it holds. And if kids were to fall completely off this cliff, their innocence would become contaminated. Holden himself hopes to protect children's innocence through refusing to let them drop, or catching them. Holden catching the kids represents him destroying the things that could corrupt them. Pacing through Phoebe’s school, Holden encounters a swear word:

“But while I was sitting down, I saw something that drove me crazy... It drove me damn crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and how they’d wonder what the hell it meant... and how they’d all think about it and maybe even worry about it for a couple of days. I kept wanting to kill whoever’d written it... But I knew, too, I wouldn’t have the guts to do it. I knew that. That made