The Catcher in the Rye is a book by J.D. Salinger and the story of a boy named Holden Caufield. He is no longer innocent, but exposed to the world. Phoebe, Holden's sister, is the opposite she is quite the innocent, never really being exposed to the world outside her protective bubble. Holden wants to protect such precious innocence only found in the children as a guardian of the innocent a catcher in the rye. The Catcher in the Rye is fundamentally a book about innocence. This book shows people of two different parties, the innocent (not tainted by the world) and the experienced (both good and evil), in their daily life and work.
These innocents include Sally Hayes and Phoebe. Sally belies the world is a big party (or a social occasion), everyone likes her, and that the fun will never end. Phoebe, Holden's younger sister, is innocent just not quite as naive as Sally. It is clear that she is young and innocent, because of the odd things she does like constantly changing her middle name or paying for belching lessons, this she states towards the end of their conversation. One who is harden by and to the world would not take lessons in belching. A catcher in the rye is a defender or a guardian of the innocent.
The idea and the name are purely symbolic. The meaning is as the children are running thorough the rye they do not see the cliffs ahead and the plummet they will make. When they make this "fall" they lose their child-like innocence. This fall could be related to a moral dilemma like maybe the city in the raw. Where he / she would be exposed to prostitution, drunkenness, and maybe drugs.
Holden Caufield sees himself ruined and tainted by the world. He has failed out of school, drinks, and smokes. His attitude is it is too late for me. But, there is a ray of hope in his life; he feels it is his duty to save other children from the world as a catcher in the rye.
He talk to people about his ideas, people like Carl Luce. Carl just blows it off. Holden truly believes his calling in life is to save them from falling and turn them around. Holden seems destined to be a social worker or a speaker who travels to schools. To the children he must not seem far from the $5 burial speaker in the beginning of the book. But, Catcher in the Rye is truly a tragic story of innocence lost and will remain controversial and insightful for decades to come.