In The Catcher in the Rye, what does Holden believe about adults and kids?

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teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden believes that the adult world is full of "phonies" and that people do not look out for the best interests of others whereas children are innocent.  At the beginning of the novel, Holden says that his older brother D. B. is a great writer and that he used to love to listen to D. B.'s stories.  Holden implies that the stories that D. B. wrote were artistic and genuine.  However, D. B. moved to Hollywood to write scripts for films, and after he did that, Holden labeled him a "prostitute" meaning that he believes D. B. sold his talent to be used by the media simply to make money.  Now he thinks that D. B. is just a phony.  So, Holden looks to his other sibling, his younger sister Phoebe, as a symbol of the innocence of childhood.  He wants to be there to protect Phoebe from the ills of the adult world.  So, Holden's relationships with his two siblings reveal his thoughts about adults and kids.


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