Childhood brings innocence, Adulthood brings Phoniness.
Why is it that the older a person gets the younger they want to be? In some cases, it may be that you want to be younger due to fewer responsibilities, or it even may be because of your personal appearance. Well in the book the catcher in the rye a young man named Holden tells how he suffers from the social life and society today. As Holden grows up to be a young man, he wants to be young again because he values the thought of youth and innocence. He believes that growing up brings phoniness and change. Holden doesnt like change; hes not up for changing himself for other peoples approval like most of our society. In chapter 16, Holden states The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobodyd move. . . . Nobodyd be different. The only thing that would be different would be you. meaning Holden feels comfortable with his past; childhood brings innocence, adulthood brings phoniness.
Holdens childhood was simple; as if nothing could ever go wrong. Holden grew up with two brothers named D.B and Allie. He also has a sister named phoebe, shes the youngest. Although, Holden was closest with Allie; Allie eventually ended up dyeing from leukemia, allies death triggered most of Holdens depression as he got older. No matter what is going on in the world, children wouldnt have a clue as to what was really going on; Holden is jealous of that because children are able to be so care-free, and in adulthood people have such higher expectations.
Most people can predict why Holden may believe in this theory seeming how once he headed into his teenage years he began to fail more. He moved from school to school, due to his constant failure in his classes and failing to pursue everything he should be able to do as a student; Holden does not apply himself in school. Holden believes he is surrounded by all of these fake phony people who cant stay true to themselves due to this personified life style of some higher power. Why cant people just be themselves, and be accepted?!
After getting kicked out of another private school called Pency, Holden decided to runaway to New York, havent earning his parents approval. During this time period, Holden focuses mostly on Adulthood, and how societys approval plays a huge role in it. In the city, Holden sees a lot more Phonies and fakes. While his stay in the city Holden went to a theatre to see a movie, he brings up a point how while watching the film, there was this woman Crying her eyes out, he brings up how annoying and fake this person was, He said that is was so ridiculous of her to be fake crying to get attention from other people in the theatre. He also had a run in with one of his brother D.Bs ex-girlfriends while in New York City; the woman was being so phony to Holden, saying how it was so good to see him and such, even though Holden already knew she hated him; Holden didnt really care though, because he felt the same.
Although, Holden feels unaccepted by his parents, he feels some kind of an approval from his sister, phoebe. When he gets really depressed in the City Holden decided he needed someone to call and talk too, he cant reach phoebe on the phone though, so he decided to run home and sneak into her bedroom. As he watches her sleep he can see how pure she is, and how oblivious a child can be to such a poisonous world/society. Towards the end of his journey he takes Phoebe to a Zoo. At the zoo he phoebe goes on a carousel, as he watches he thinks "Then the carousel started, and I watched her go round and round...All the kids tried to grap for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she's fall off the goddam horse, but I didn't say 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, they fall off, but it is bad to say anything to them." Meaning he wished he could be as oblivious and care-free as the children on the ride.
Holden Caulfield definitely means well, even though his views on people can sometimes be overly judgmental and harsh. In chapter 22 he says Im standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliffI mean if theyre running and they dont look where theyre going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. Thats all Id do all day. Id just be the catcher in the rye and all. Showing how dedicated Holden is to the children in our society, and how valuable their innocence is to him; he really just wants whats best. Holden believes that children bring innocence, adulthood brings phoniness.