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Example research essay topic: Catcher In The Rye Loss Of Innocence - 977 words

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The Loss of Innocence The most precious time in a person s life is their childhood. A carefree attitude towards life and a great sense of innocence evolve and the yearning to remain a child forever develops. Childhood is the time when you set all your troubles aside, pay no bills, have no homework and don t worry that every action you take will upset your parents. As you mature into adulthood your innocence is lost and sometimes a wall of phoniness builds itself around you. In JD Salingers Catcher in the Rye, a troubled teenager named Holden Caulfield struggles with the fact that everyone has to grow up.

The book gets its title from Holden's constant concern with the loss of innocence. He does not want children to grow up because he feels that adults are corrupt and he himself does not want to grow up for the sake of preserving his innocence. But in the end, Holden realizes that he has no choice and must learn to let go and grow up. In the beginning of The Catcher in the Rye, Holden s initial character is that of a child. He is extremely immature and cannot buckle down in school and it shows with his failing grades. Because of his lack of responsibility throughout the whole book he also fails out of two schools for lack of effort and absences from classes.

Another way that Holden shows irresponsibility is when he is the equipment manager of the fencing team at Pencey, but he loses the equipment on the subway making it impossible for the team to compete. These actions prove that Holden does not want to take the responsibility of becoming an adult. Another display of childishness is Holden s constant movement and his inability to stay in the same place. When Holden decides that he does not want to stay at Pencey any longer, he wanders through New York, calling anyone he can think of, trying to find a cure for his loneliness. No matter who the person is, he characterizes almost every person he meets as a phony. He feels that he is surrounded by hypocrites in a school filled with corruption.

During a teacher / parent day, the principal of Pencey would only say hello to the wealthy parents of students. He would not associate himself with those that were not financially stable, because he is a phony. Holden does not want to associate himself with a school full of fakes because he is afraid he will become one too. He feels he has to stay on the move as much as possible in order not to become one of them. Holden s deep concern with perfection causes him to create stereotypes. When Holden goes to Phoebe s school he finds cuss words written on the walls in the hallways.

His imagination leads him to believe that some pervert snuck into the school to write the vulgarity and does it to try and corrupt the children. Holden does not want to grow up and put himself into the same class of people that are trying to make children dishonest. Holden tries very hard to erase the graffiti because he believes that children are innocent because they view the world and society without any bias. He wants to put himself in the same category as a child so his innocence is protected. Besides trying to erase cuss words, Holden uses the terms, becoming a catcher in the rye as an example of how he could save children from falling off the cliff to adulthood and loosing their innocence Holden has a fascination with childhood, which shows throughout the book. His adoration of children, admiration of Phoebe, respect of his dead brother Allie, and the constant references about his own childhood all add to his fixation with innocence and youth.

One of his childish fantasies is to become a deaf mute and live in the country all alone where no one can bother him and he wont have to talk to anyone. That way he doesn t have to deal with all the phoniness and hypocrites of everyday life. But throughout the book, Holden begins to change. When Holden is waiting for a friend, he has an urge to go into a museum that he visited during his childhood to bring back memories of his fun loving days as a child. However, when he finally reaches the museum, he decides not to go in. This shows that Holden is becoming an adult.

He does not want to enter the museum because he realizes that he is too old. Holden s final display of change is when he does not ride the carousel with Phoebe. Holden only watches her ride and try to grab the gold ring in the center of the carousel. Instead of warning her that she might fall and get hurt, he decides to let her learn for herself. The carousel is symbolizing life and the journey of childhood into adulthood. The more childish Holden would say it was too dangerous to achieve the goal of grabbing the gold ring, but he is more mature and decides that they need to go along the path by themselves.

The Catcher in the Rye is a good example of a person s struggle to find direction and not being able to let go of their childhood. It is a fact that everyone must grow up but Holden Caulfield has trouble realizing it until it is almost too late. He realizes by the end of the book that taking responsibility and maturing is the only way to get along in life. After he realizes he could not achieve his goal of trying to save all the children from growing up and losing their innocence he could not deal with it and has a nervous breakdown.


Free research essays on topics related to: gold ring, holden caulfield, loss of innocence, holden, catcher in the rye

Research essay sample on Catcher In The Rye Loss Of Innocence

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