We all remember the days of our innocence, or at least try to. We look back upon those times when things were simple and we were sheltered from the world as we looked upon it with curious eyes. Perhaps it is the memory of a fishing trip with our father, or cooking in the kitchen with our mother. They are nice memories, innocent memories, whatever they may be. Holden Caulfield, the main character and narrator of the novel The Catcher in the Rye yearns to hold onto his innocence and to protect others from the corruption and phony society . This is a main theme in J.D Salinger's novel: the loss of innocence. This theme is an important one and is one which many relate to.
Childhood was a secure place for Holden. It was a place that Holden thought would always predominate and never change. That's why he only saw children and his younger sister Phoebe as innocent. Holden doesn't want his sister to grow up and change, and have the adult world affect her the way it does him. In Holden's mind, children are nave, and that was the way he wants to preserve it. He shows his opinion by observing, " All the kids kept trying to grab the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she might fall off the goddamn horse, but I didn't say anything or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, the fall off, but it's bad if you say anything to them- (211). This illustrates the pure innocence of children, and the gold rings portray a sort of round goal that children seek and reach for. The theme of children's innocence is also portrayed in one of the Subtle Shade of Blue's songs, Children's game. "Children's games, playing like the children do, laughing as they learn from life, can't we learn to play?, fighting like the grown-ups do, they won't learn, they'll pay-. The writer of this song has also wanted to show that the childhood is a safe place where the children play and do not fight like the grown-ups do.