The Catcher in the Rye

Symbolism is used to explore Innocence in the Catcher in the Rye

What are three symbolisms that demestrate Innocence in the Cacther In the Rye?

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The song "Catcher in the Rye" symbolizes loss of innocence.

Holden's hat symbolizes the innocence of Allie and Phoebe. It also symbolizes Holden's unique character.

Loss of innocence is something that Holden must face that fork in the road of adolescence when one realizes that maturity entails a loss of innocence—that greater knowledge of oneself and others and the circumstances all comes with a price. In Holden's case, he cannot bear to accept the death of Allie, the death of pure innocence that had no good reason to suffer or die. In Holden's eyes, Allie is truth, while everyone else is “phony.” Innocence goes with idealism and a certain inability or unwillingness to bear and accept the harsher reality. Holden cannot bear to hold onto his innocence because innocence brings its own harms; people continue to disappoint him. Thus the cost of maturity is much less; innocence has been quite painful, too. Innocence has been problematic: the prostitute demands more money for nothing, the man who takes him in seems like a pedophile, and the cab drivers berate him as stupid when he asks simple questions about the birds in the park. While Allie’s memory can help him preserve his innocence, this is not enough, for he cannot find real love in the outside world.

Besides, losing Allie has brought tremendous pain. Holden also has the common adolescent experience of perceiving that time in school learning mundane lessons feels petty when his entire soul is in flux as it comes to grips with reality. When the entire world around him appears phony, where can he go to grasp hold of some reality, some stable truth? Without an explanation why Allie was taken from him, there appears no reason behind the world's events, and in this respect Holden’s maturity involves a deep loss of innocence such that he perceives that the reality of the world is its very irrationality.