J.D. Salinger wrote the Catcher and the Rye as well as A Perfect Day for Bananafish; the main characters both want to preserve innocence for themselves and for the people around them. Innocence according to the Webster's Dictionary, is, "The quality of innocent naÃÂ¯vetÃÂ© and being free from sin or moral wrong; or lacking a knowledge of evil." This innocence is what children have and what adults no longer do. Holden wants to protect the innocence of children, specifically his younger sister Phoebe, while Seymour tries to gain back his innocence with Sybil.
In Catcher and the Rye, Holden wants children around him to stay young because once they become adult's people act "phony", trying to please everyone. Holden states,
"I'd have to catch everyone if they start to go over the cliff. (Salinger p.173)." Holden wants to save these children from falling off the cliff which represents the transition from innocence to phoniness.
He has creates this imaginary world about the rye and himself being surrounded by children, because he doesn't want to become this "phony" self absorbed person that he is so convinced everyone is. He is so critical of everyone around him that he does not stop to realize that he could be wrong and that the transition from child to adult is just a way of life.
In A Perfect day for Bannanafish, Seymour goes out into the ocean and searches for bannanafish with Sybil, when in fact he is searching for his innocence, hoping to find it in Sybil. He acts like a child with her talking about a make believe fish. Seymour says, "You just keep your eyes open for any bananafish. This is a perfect day for bananafish.(Salinger p. 15)" Seymour is trying to rid himself of this adult world where everything...