"The Lost Shepherd." This Essay examines the prevalent theme of Holden Caulfield as a protector of innocence in "The Catcher and the Rye."

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The title of a book can often illuminate the central idea of the book. In The Catcher in the Rye the meaning of the title becomes clear when Holden's sister asks him what he wants to be, and he says that all he wants to be is the "catcher in the rye" from a popular children's song. In this role he envisions himself as the lone guardian watching a group of children playing on a …

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…York, New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1990. -- -- -- J.D. Salinger. New York, New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987. Burrows, David J. "Allie and Phoebe." Bloom, Holden 80 - 86. Rosen, Gerald. "A Retrospective Look at The Catcher in the Rye." Bloom, J.D. Salinger 95 - 109 Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in The Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1991. Weinberg, Helen. "J.D. Salinger's Holden and Seymour and the Spiritual Activist Hero." Bloom, J.D. Salinger 63 - 79