The Catcher In The Rye

Essay by gangsterjooseHigh School, 10th gradeB, July 2004

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In J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, the main character is depicted as a sixteen-year-old boy who wants to be the savior of children's innocence. Holden is always afraid of change and wants everything in his life to stay the same, as it was when he was younger. Holden desires to be "the catcher in the rye," and explicates this when he says, "...I keep picturing all of these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all...I'm standing at the edge of some crazy cliff...I have to catch everybody if they start to come over the cliff...I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all." Holden dreams of saving all the children's purity because that is how he would have wanted to stay, instead of having to grow older and be stripped of his youth.

When Holden visits the museum and reminisces about his childhood, the reader is able to recognize Holden's longing to be a child again.

Holden thinks about his trips to the museum and says, "...I walked all the way through the park to the Museum of Natural History...I get very happy when I think about it." Holden enjoys thinking about his fieldtrips to the museum and how much he liked looking at all the artifacts inside it. He also proves to want things to stay the same when he says, "Certain things they should just stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone." Since Holden notices that almost nothing has changed in the museum and its arrangement, he wants to be able to put his life in a big glass case and keep everything the way it is.

Even though...