Unformatted text preview: Themes in literary works are recurring, unifying subjects or ideas, motifs that allow us to understand more deeply the characters and their world. In The Catcher in the Rye , the major themes reflect the values and motivations of the characters. Some of these themes are outlined in the following sections. As its title indicates, the dominating theme of The Catcher in the Rye is the protection of innocence, especially of children. For most of the book, Holden sees this as a primary virtue. It is very closely related to his struggle against growing up. Holden's enemy is the adult world and the cruelty and artificiality that it entails. The people he admires all represent or protect innocence. He thinks of Jane Gallagher, for example, not as a maturing young woman but as the girl with whom he used to play checkers. He goes out of his way to tell us that he and Jane had no sexual relationship. Quite checkers....
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- Fall '11
- Motif, Holden associates death