Topic sentence: Holden's obsession to be the catcher in the rye further develops his character, yet blinds him from the reality of his desire.Hoden can picture himself wearing a giant mitt, waiting to catch kids that fall off of the cliff while playing in the ryeHe obsesses with the fact that he doesn't want children to grow up, lose their innocence, and see the world in a different mannerHe wants to protect children from having their "fall" from the field of innocence He doesn't want them to recognize the harshness of adulthoodHowever, this not only symbolizes his desire to save children, but also his desire to prevent himself from growing up into an adult world that he describes as "phony"Song: Holden dreams of becoming a catcher in the rye when he misheard the song "Comin' Thro the Rye" He thinks the lyric is "If a body catch a body comin' thro the rye," but it is actually "If a body meet a body comin' thro the rye"The original lyrics refer to two people having an encounter in the ryeHe feels that intimacy should be between people who care deeply about each other, and he is upset by the realization of the truth that it can be casual. This is ironic because it puts emphasis on the fact that Holden wants to shield children from losing the innocence, but also allows us as readers to recognize that he is still innocent himselfQuote: During Holden's visit to Mr. Antolini's house, Mr. Antolini tells Holden, "I don't want to scare you, but I can very clearly see you dying nobly, one way or another, for some highly unworthy cause (Salinger 188).
Mr. Antolini also tells him a quote referring to an immature man dying nobly for a cause; whereas a mature man lives humbly for the causeHolden is unable to accept the reality that he will be sacrificing himself for nothingChildren will eventually lose their innocence and he can't prevent that from happening The best that he can do is be a good role model to childrenCharacter development: This symbol also shows us the development of Holden's characterAccording to the quote, Holden was developing into an immature man that would die to save innocenceWe are able to experience his feelings as he expresses his thoughts of being the catcher in the ryeConcluding sentence: Although being the "catcher in the rye" is very meaningful in the novel, Holden also speaks about Allie's baseball mitt being a very important symbol in his life. Discussion Question: Why do you think that Mr. Antolini tells Holden that he can see him dying for an unworthy cause? To warn him that if he doesn't accept the reality that his desire is worthless, that he would be wasting his time trying to protect children from losing their innocence which is a part of growing up and maturing as an individual. Even if he tries his whole life, children will still have their "fall".