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"catcher in the rye" interpretationRecently I re read the catcher in the rye, and...

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zzamozz | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 16, 2011 at 6:37 AM via web

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"catcher in the rye" interpretationRecently I re read the catcher in the rye, and frankly I have no one to disscuss it with. I was just wondering, if, by taking the theme of The phoniness of the adult world, into account, could one say that the "edge" Holden speaks of with Phoebe could be an analogy of the adult world. Holden always speaks about hating the adult world, thus, could the edge he is keeping the children from falling off be adolescence or the adult world? Does Holden want to keep the children in a care free world of kindness and easy going ways?

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 17, 2011 at 9:51 AM (Answer #2)

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I think the "edge" Holden is referring to is the loss of innocence.  Once it's lost, you have nothing but experience, and thus, adulthood where everyone is a liar or phony, or both (at least in Holden's view).  He wants to save the children, and especially his siser Phoebe from this harsh reality--the real world.  He has not found much to be impressed with, and even his favorite English teacher gets a little weird with him.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 18, 2011 at 1:59 AM (Answer #3)

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You have an interesting interpretation. Since Holden does not trust the adult world, he does not want to succumb children to it. I agree with poster 2 that this is a loss of innocence. Holden believes children are honest and adults are phony. Once a child becomes phony, he's lost. He's fallen over the cliff and become just like every other adult.
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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted July 18, 2011 at 2:18 PM (Answer #4)

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I like your interpretation. I think that Holden sees that he is over the 'edge' and is no longer a child, expected to understand the complexity of adult relationships and responsibilities when he is not ready or willing to do so. There is the idea of preservation from loss of innocence, but also having to accept responsibility for oneself and one's faults.

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zzamozz | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 30, 2011 at 2:19 AM (Answer #5)

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I asked this question because I am writing an early assigned english paper for university (first year), out of the novels assigned I must write about an unkown theme or symbol that I have created. Personally I think it's a tough assaignment as you have to be a good reader, but I assume my prof just wants the class to really go in depth with our chosen novel. I was wondering if, worded correctly, i could use the interpretation I fabricated as my main topic. The symbol being "the rye field cliff as an analogy for the adult world." Do you think that I have gone in depth enough? That i have demonstarted how much thought I have put into the novel?

Ps. thank you for the comments quite helpful, I guess i should have elaborated a little more as to why I was reading it.

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