In the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J

In the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, there are many instances of symbolism that all point to the theme that innocence should be protected, however, the loss of innocence is inevitable. There are three symbols that show this theme in the novel: the checkerboard, the museum, and the golden ring.
Throughout the novel, Holden constantly talks about Jane Gallagher. He would talk about their relationship together and past memories that he shared with her. A specific memory that he brought up was when they played a game of checkers. Holden said “… she wouldn’t take her kings out of the back row” (Salinger 78). If the kings are in the back and not out in the middle of the board, they are not subject to being taken which closely resembles how Jane is protecting her own innocence by not putting herself out in the midst of the perceived “evil” adult world. This scene shows us that Holden is protective of her innocence, by making it clear that he has had no sexual relationship with her, and that instead, they just hold hands. Sexual activities are seen as an adult thing to do, and not something for an innocent child. Holden is very sexualized but keeps it away from Jane to try and preserve her innocence. During the checker scene, Jane’s stepfather comes to ask her if there were any cigarettes in the house. Holden then explains what happened afterward when he said, “Then all of a sudden, this tear plopped down on the checkerboard. On one of the red squares -boy, I can still see it. She just rubbed it into the board with her finger” (78). Jane is presumably crying over the abuse she receives from her stepfather, and the tear can be seen as the innocence that is rubbed away into the checkerboard.