Holden Caulfield, the main protagonist in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, embodies the classic teenager in the process of discovering himself, and how the world works. But, regardless of Holden 's rich, prep school lifestyle, the series of events that have mapped out his life up to this point have utterly affected his emotional well being and perception of the world. Many traumatic events such as the death of holds brother Allie, the death of a class mate, and countless numbers of awkward incidents with adults have all added up to affects Holden 's well-being and detach him from reality.
Throughout the story Holden tries to suppress everything he feels which causes him to spiral out of control and do irrational things but starts to realise people need to grow up but kids also need to be kids.. When Holden 's brother, Allie, died he did this, “I was only thirteen, and they were going to have my psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all the windows in the garage. I don 't blame them. I really don 't. I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it. I even tried to break all the windows on the station wagon we had that summer, but my hand was already broken and everything by that time, and I couldn 't do it. It was a very stupid thing to do, I 'll admit, but I hardly didn 't even know I was doing it, and you didn 't know Allie.”
When we were younger, all we ever wanted was to be a ‘big kid’. We wanted to be able to do things by ourselves and have independence and freedom from our parents. In J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, protagonist Holden Caulfield finally had this ‘freedom’. But was it what he wanted? He was expected to act like an adult though he was still considered a child. Inside, Holden was struggling with the conflict of reluctance to become and adult because he thought it meant leaving behind his brother. He was pushing aside the fact that people change, and that change was not always a bad thing.
Holden has the choice to either act like an adult or play like a child when he comes across a problem. But not surprisingly, he can’t choose which path to follow, so he stays stuck in the middle. This middle grey area of transitioning from childhood to adulthood for Holden is what is causing his problems and what is making his choices and decisions a lot harder. Holden 's past experiences have taken a toll on him and are starting to cause present issues for him. Holden was only thirteen when his younger brother passed away and it hit him hard.
“He was always saying snotty things about them, my suitcases, for instance. He kept saying they were too new and bourgeois… Everything I had was bourgeois as hell. Even my fountain pen was bourgeois. He borrowed it off me all the time, but it was bourgeois anyway” (Salinger, ch.
Throughout the book, Holden is struggling to get by. The death of his brother Allie has left him in a tough spot. Holden doesn’t exactly know how to deal with this. The different stages of grief are represented through Holden. Holden shows denial and anger when he flashbacks to one of his memories after his brother’s death.
I keep telling him to go home and get his bike and meet me in front of Bobby Fallon 's house” (Salinger 98). Holden always keeps a spot in the back of his head for his younger brother so he can communicate with him whenever. By communicating with Allie, Holden feels better about himself, as he can recall past events that he shared with his brother. To add, the death and tormenting of Holden’s former peer, James
The transition from childhood to adulthood labeled, “growing up” is a rite of passage endured by all humans. During this process, adulthood seems inviting and free, but only when we become members of the adult world, can the blissful innocence and youth of our childhood be appreciated and missed. The novel, Catcher in the Rye, by J.D Salinger explores the captivations of youth and innocence experienced in adolescence. He uses literary devices of repetition and symbolism to illustrate this point.
Gatsby bought a car that was so out there. Nick describes the car saying, “It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes…” (Gatsby, pg. ) In the book, it is unknown what Gatsby does for a living but it is suspected that he gets his money through illegal means. He got it through corrupt means.
At only age 16, Holden Caulfield struggles with basic day-to-day interactions and obstacles. When he comes across people, he is very selective over whom he lets in and how much he opens up. In “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, Holden displays that he is a sensitive subject to work with on many different occasions. When dealing with family, it’s a touchy subject with which he does not like discussing a ton. When thinking about his siblings, Holden starts to reveal himself as a semi-sensitive guy.
Holden is now lost in his own fantasy world not wanting to grow up from his childhood life, due to the tragedy of Allies death. Freud’s theory would examine the depth of the unconscious state and its primary root source attached to incomprehensible pain by noting, “the preconscious state holds information we’ve stored from past experience... This information can be retrieved from memory and brought into awareness at any time” (Freud 469). Because Holden never stops thinking of his brother he is trapped in his own world and can’t find an escape to his mood disorder of depression and his emotion of tribulant grief. However, Holden acknowledges that he is lost, “they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all…I don’t blame them” (Salinger 38).
Holden Caulfield lives his life as an outsider to his society, because of this any we (as a reader) find normal is a phony to him. Basically, every breathing thing in The Catcher in the Rye is a phony expect a select few, like Jane Gallagher. What is a phony to Holden and why is he obsessed with them? A phony is anyone who Holden feels is that living their authentic life, like D.B. (his older brother). Or simply anyone who fits into society norms, for example, Sally Hayes. Holden’s obsession stems from his fear that he may become a phony one day. So, he spends the book running from adulthood by doing childish things and struggling to keep his life from changing.
From the outset, I have to say that “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger has been one of the most important and influential pieces of literature I have ever read. At its core, the book is a superb coming of age novel which discusses several extremely powerful themes such as the difficulties of growing up, teenage angst and alienation and the superficiality, hypocrisy and pretension of the adult world. These themes resonated deeply with me and were portrayed excellently through the use of powerful symbolism and the creation of highly relatable and likable characters. One such character is Holden Caulfield whom the story both revolves around and is narrated by.
Usually considered a controversial novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger can often express the feelings of being an outcast and the desire to find a meaning in the world. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of the novel, though often complains of the phoniness of the world around him, has a way of creating a deeper meaning within the readers. While the truth may be that Salinger purposely set the story in such a way that the readers will be able to connect with Holden, not often do readers find it easy to do so. While Holden believes that everything around him are wicked and phony, there is part of him trying to protect the innocence of those not corrupted by such phoniness. Although Holden wants to protect and save the innocence of children, can he really do so if cannot protect himself and trust those around him. Though Holden believes the world around him is phony and wicked, and while he wants to be the catcher in the rye, catching those who will fall over cliff; Holden does not only want to save those children but he also wants to save himself.