Loss of Innocence: The Catcher in the Rye and Rebel Without a Cause Sierra Mai Summers 11th Grade

Each day, someone loses his/her innocence due to a seminal minute that changes his or her life permanently. This concept of lost innocence is represented in both the novel The Catcher in the Rye and the movie Rebel Without a Cause. Protagonists Holden Caulfield and Jim Stark strive to preserve the innocence of others in order to protect them from the turmoil they see every day in the real life. Likewise, both highly developed characters handle the function of protecting someone they care for profoundly.

In Rebel Without a Cause, Jim befriends a kid named Plato who has trouble fitting in with the other teenagers at their school. When the 2 friends and Judy go to an abandoned mansion late at night, Plato opens up and shares his belief that his moms and dads have completely cast him aside. It appears to Jim that his pal is beginning to see the real colors of the world, so he steps in to try to preserve his buddy’s innocence as long as he can. He and Judy pretend to be a couple who are taking a look at the estate in hopes of a new house for them and their kids. Plato starts off by pretending to be the real estate broker, however rapidly changes to portraying their boy when Jim begins acting as an adult figure to him. By imitating a father to his buddy, Jim is permitting him to live the youth Plato is afraid he has already lost. Nevertheless, in The Catcher in the Rye, Holden talks with his little sis Phoebe about what he really wishes to be; a catcher in the rye. He discusses what that implies when he states “what I need to do, I need to catch everyone if they begin to go over the cliff” (Salinger 173). The “cliff” Holden is referring to is the critical minute in which innocence is lost. He wishes to “catch” or shield them from” [going] over” or growing up. Holden understands what it resembles to fall off the cliff and see what the world is actually like, so he wants to keep them delighted and oblivious of the metaphorical cliff they are continuously nearing.

Holden and Jim share the belief that nearly all grown-ups are phonies because they no longer have the innocence that utilized to make them comfortable in their own skin. Throughout The Catcher in the Rye, Holden is constantly utilizing this term to adversely refer to lots of adults he encounters. While discussing moms and dads and people of high status, such as priests, he says “I don’t see why the hell they can’t talk in their natural voice. They sound so fake when they talk” (Salinger 100). He is trying to say that people who don’t “talk in their natural voice” are unauthentic and very fake. The reason Holden wishes to maintain the innocence of others is so that they do not need to camouflage themselves with a phony identity. Instead of thinking that all those who have actually lost innocence are phonies, Jim just merely believes that they make fake excuses for their own habits. When trying to open to his parent’s about his involvement of the death of Buzz, his mom reluctantly declares that they are going to move once again. Jim attempts to discuss that their can’t just escape from the occasion since she does not want to handle it. He calls her out on her actions and states that she is always using any phony excuse she can discover to move rather of facing the issue at hand. She denies it once again which does not shock Jim since he understands that grown-ups are unauthentic and will use any reason they can think about to leave their issues.

In both narratives, there is a reoccurring style of the color blue representing innocence and the color red representing maturity. Towards the end of The Catcher in the Rye, Holden takes Phoebe to a carousel so she can attempt to get for the gold rings. He watches her go around and around on the wooden horse and states “my red hunting hat really provided me quite a lot of security, in a way” which” [Phoebe] just looked so damn good … in her blue coat and all” (Salinger 212-213). Right before this, Phoebe puts the hat on Holden’s head to keep him safe and since she is not all set to wear it yet. When he sees her because blue peacoat, Holden knows he’s effectively kept her safe. The red hunting hat he uses signifies his maturity and offers him “security” or reassurance that in the meantime, Phoebe still has her innocence. When Plato is shot by the police in Rebel Without a Cause, Jim hugs his pal’s lifeless body in sorrow. He moves Plato’s trousers up so he can look at his mismatched socks; one is red and one is blue. The various colored socks symbolize that Plato wished to feel mature, however he wasn’t prepared to give up his innocent youth. He was also using his good friend’s red jacket at the time, which was his effort at showing he was fully grown like his good friend. Before the authorities bring his body away, Jim sobs and zips up his red coat that is on Plato. He is upset since he feels like he has actually failed his pal by not having the ability to maintain his innocence. Jim decided to let Plato keep the coat due to the fact that he had actually lost his innocence and seen the world for what it genuinely is best before his death; he made it.

Although Jim and Holden do not try to make the fully grown ended up being innocent once again, it is since they understand lost innocence can never be discovered. Protecting the youth of individuals they care about before they lose it is how they tackle this problem head on. Even though innocence can not last forever, these two characters want to shield others from the severe realities of the world for as long as they can in order to make the world a better place.

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