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McLallen,R-Innocence vs. Experience/Catcher in the Rye-pd. 4
Transcript of McLallen,R-Innocence vs. Experience/Catcher in the Rye-pd. 4
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Shows Holden's bias towards the young.
Makes Holden seem childish and shows he does not want to grow up.
Shows the theme through many experiences, especially the catcher in the rye
"I sat there for about an hour and a half after he left. I mean I just sat in my chair, not doing anything. I kept thinking about Jane, and about Stradlater having a date with her and all. It made me so nervous I nearly went crazy. I already told you what a sexy bastard Stradlater was." (pg 34)
"'I thought it was "If a body catch a body,"' I said. 'Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around-nobody big I mean-except me. And I'm standing on a the edge of a 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. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy.'" (pg 173)
"'Don't you feel like talking for a while?' I asked her. It was a childish thing to say, but I was feeling so damn peculiar. 'Are you in a very big hurry?'" (pg 96)
Holden fears that Stradlater will do things with Jane
Jane is a symbol of Holden's innocent childhood.
Shows Holden's sensitivity to talking about sexual matters
Holden asks for a prostitute but cannot follow through with it.
Wants to preserve his sexual innocence.
Acting like a child in an adult situation.
"'You can't even think of one'
'Yes, I can. Yes, I can.'
'Well, do it, then.'
'I like Allie,' I said. 'And I like doing what I'm doing right now. Sitting here with you, and talking, and thinking about stuff, and-'" (pg 171)
"The kid was swell. He was walking in the street, instead of on the sidewalk, but right next to the curb. He was making out like he was walking a very straight line, the way kids do, and the whole time he kept singing an humming. I got up closer so I could hear what he was singing. He was singing that song, 'If a body catch a body coming through the rye.' He had a pretty little voice, too. He was just singing for the hell of it, you could tell. The cars zoomed by, brakes screeched all over the place, his parents payed no attention to him, and he kept on walking next to the curb singing 'If a body catch a body coming through the rye.' It made me feel better. It made me feel not so depressed any more." (pg 115)
Shows Holden's bias for the innocence of children.
It makes him feel happy because the child is in his own innocent world, not corrupted by the adult world.
He desires to preserve this innocence.
He likes his dead brother Allie and likes to talk to his sister.
He cannot answer with any better response.
He is comfortable with continuing to do the things he did as a child and the simple innocent world of childhood.
Holden wants to protect the children who could be harmed.
Holden is the guardian.
The children represent childhood innocence.
Holden strives to protect innocence.
This is where we find the relevance of the title.
The Catcher in the Rye is Holden, who is the protector of innocence.