Yasr so what happened to him doesn’t happen

Yasr Zakko

M. Parise

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December 18, 2017

Loss of Innocence

Holden Caulfield is a figment of J.D
Salinger’s imagination but reflects what he thinks in real life onto Holden, J.D
Salinger portrays Holden as a young boy and shows him losing his innocence
right at the start of the novel, nearing to the end of the book it follows up
on Holdens journey through life and how he views things. The death of younger Holdens
brother, Allie, is the first thing that hits him. The novel expresses Holdens
struggle to try and preserve the innocence of young children so what happened
to him doesn’t happen to other kids, but along the way he encounters the
jarring reality of life.

When Holden was a child his little brother,
Allie, died from Leukemia that was the first loss of innocence he experienced
which was that the world can be unjust even though you have done nothing wrong,
which made Holden start seeing the evil in the world, “got leukemia and died…
on July 18, 1946” (39), Holden was only thirteen when this happened. The reason
this hit Holden the hardest because he saw Allie as “the most intelligent
member of the family. He was also the nicest, in lots of ways” (21), since
Allie died when Holden was only eleven, he didn’t understand why someone as
much talent Allie had would have to pass when he was little. Holden thought it
was unfair.

Another event in the plot that took away
another piece of Holdens innocence is the date that Stradlater went on with
Jane, Holden knew what Stradlater was capable of doing to girls because he was
an athlete and was also handsome Holden admittedly said “He was pretty
handsome, too–I’ll admit it” (15), before the date Holden asked Stradlater not
to tell Jane he was kicked out of Pencey Prep because he was afraid she would
judge him. After Stradlater goes out with Jane, Holden starts to ask a lot of
questions but one that stood out the most was if he gave Jane the time, which
is a vulgar way of asking if he had sexual intercourse with her but to Holdens
surprise he replied with “That’s a professional secret, buddy.” (24), after
that Holden was filled with rage because he wanted to know the answer so he
tried to punch Stradlater, but since Holden isn’t as strong as Stradlater he
pushes him down and sits on his chest, he only stopped when Holden agreed not
to talk about his date anymore. This devastated Holden because he remembered
the times when he used to play checkers with Jane and how she never takes her
kings out of the back row. Holden does not like change this is why his innocent
perspective on the world will change because he remembers playing checkers with
Jane, and all the memories they had. Holden does not want her to grow up or
change this is why he got mad at Stradlater when he hinted at the fact that
they might have had sexual intercourse.

When Holden travelled to New York, he met a
lot of new people many of which had broken his heart he also encountered many unpredictable
situations