Innocence and Trauma in J.D Salinger' s The Catcher in the Rye

Fikret GÜVEN, Rita ÖZCAN
2021 Rumelide dil ve edebiyat dergisi  
The Catcher in the Rye is a bestselling novel, based on experiences of protagonist' s expulsion from a boarding school and his travel back to his home. He spends his days trying to get someone listen to him in a meaningful way and share his fears about becoming an adult and its accompanying corruption of innocence. However, he is obsessed with and protective of innocence. He tries to reach out to people on several occasions who could comfort him for his fears of growing up: friends, teachers,
more » ... b drivers, prostitutes, and nuns. However, he can never ask those questions directly or find a meaningful companion to share his fears. In reality, what Holden seeks after is not sex, money or any other motive; he wants to freze the time and keep the things the way they are. He wants to be the protector of innocence, and stay innocent himself. His subtle obsesssion is tested on several occasions that his interest in sexuality becomes so abusive at every attempt. His interactions with adult world strikes him as "phony" because every adult he comes into contact with has ulterior reasons. This is why, he wants to freeze the time for himself and people that he cares about. All these intense experiences led him to break down and ends Holden up in a mental institute. The paper presents a psychoanalytic approach to the themes of innocence of childhood and phony adulthood in the selected text.
doi:10.29000/rumelide.981517 fatcat:ihfbm5acibbexdfmz52js2uqiq