Themes in literary works room recurring, unifying subjects or ideas, motifs that enable us come understand much more deeply the characters and also their world. In The Catcher in the Rye, the significant themes reflect the values and also motivations the the characters. Several of these themes room outlined in the complying with sections.

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As its title indicates, the dominating theme that The Catcher in the Rye is the security of innocence, especially of children. For most of the book,Holden sees this as a main virtue. The is very closely pertained to his struggle versus growing up. Holden"s opponent is the adult world and the cruelty and also artificiality that it entails. The world he admires all represent or defend innocence. He thinks of woman Gallagher, for example, no as a maturing young woman however as the girl v whom he used to pat checkers. The goes the end of his way to tell united state that he and also Jane had no sex-related relationship. Fairly sweetly, they commonly just organized hands. Holden comforted Jane as soon as she was distressed, and it bothers him that Jane may have actually been based on sexual developments from her drunken stepfather or from her date, Holden"s roommate, Stradlater.

Holden"s secret goal is to be "the catcher in the rye." In this metaphor, that envisions a ar of rye standing by a danger cliff. Youngsters play in the field with joy and abandon. If they need to come also close come the sheet of the cliff, however, Holden is over there to capture them. His mindset seems to transition near the end of the novel as soon as he realizes that Phoebe and other children must be permitted to "grab for the yellow ring," to select their very own risks and also take them, also though their attempts might be dangerous.

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Death

Death is one more consistent theme in the novel. That is continually comprise by the visibility of Holden"s younger brother"s spirit, also though Allie has actually been dead for around three years. As soon as Holden fears because that his own existence, together as when he feels that he could disappear, he speak to Allie. He is haunted through the believed of Allie in the rainy cemetery surrounding by tombstones and dead people. Holden associates fatality with the mutability of time. That wishes the everything might just continue to be the method it is, the time might stand still, particularly when something beautiful happens. As soon as he to compare this come the screens under glass in ~ the museum, Holden appears to it is in rejecting life itself. Life is change. Aging and mutability are inevitable. It isn"t simply that society wants Holden to flourish up; his own biological condition insists the he come to be an adult. As soon as he resists change, Holden is fighting the organic clock that at some point will an outcome in old age and death. He additionally resists simply growing up. Although we may admire his candor and even sometimes identify with his adolescent wish, we space left come conclude the Holden"s method leads to substantial frustration and, eventually, madness.