Throughout the majority of the Catcher in the Rye J.D Salinger employs several different symbols that define Holden's personality. One particular object that set him apart from everyone else was his red hunting hat. It is brought up on several different occasions in the book and is often described as an article that reminds him of his brother Allie and sister Phoebe. Salinger furthermore develops the red hunting hat into a symbol by referring to it several times as Holden's own form of uniqueness, aiding in the theme of “ protection of the innocence” and the resistance of maturity.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual”. In the book Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield’s lies become habitual throughout the book. Holden is a sixteen-year-old boy, who has been kicked out of several schools including, most recently, Pencey Prep. Holden’s younger brother, Allie, died when Holden was only thirteen and his older brother is too busy working for Hollywood to care about Holden. Although his mother cares immensely for him, Holden saddens her by failing academically. The only motivator that Holden has to continue living is his younger sister, Phoebe, who is extraordinarily intelligent for her age. After he gets kicked out of Pencey, Holden is lost in life. He speaks to many people, seeking advice and comfort, but they are not able to help him find a human connection. Holden’s depression increases throughout the novel, almost to the point of suicide. He criticizes many people and ideas, labeling them as ‘phony’. Holden lies as a result of his depression, in order to hide the fact that he’s lonely and bored with his life, to divert any questions which he believes are too personal, and to create his own reality. In this way, Salinger illustrates how, during difficult times, people resort to lying as a coping mechanism.
In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield is a peculiar character portrayed as a skeptic living in “a world of phonies” in circa 1950. These personality traits can be seen through his doubts of society as well as his way of thinking and acting toward others. He also demonstrates a lack of responsibility adding to his role as a slacker. Holden flunks out of school repeatedly and has no desire to confront his parents. He mopes around the city for days, delaying the inevitable punishments he’s sure to get. Holden Caulfield is an irresponsible character and this can be proven time and again through his thoughts and actions toward himself and others.
Salinger writes, “They don’t do any damn more molding at Pencey than they do at at any other school. And I didn’t know anybody there that was splendid and clear-thinking and all. Maybe two guys. If that many. And they probably came to Pencey that way” (2). In this paragraph, the audience hears Holden’s negative immutable perspective about his school Pencey as he seems to not like the school at all, much less the people in it. The author uses words like “splendid” and “clear-thinking” to really express holden’s strong opinion about the guys at Pencey and how they don’t meet the expectations that the school holds. In the beginning of the book the reader is introduced to Mr. Spencer who is one of Holden’s teacher’s. Mr. Spencer comes out as a nice teacher whose only intention is to help Holden and guide him through the misfit of society as he realizes that Holden needs a hand to hold. Salinger writes, “Game, my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, the it’s a game, all right--I’ll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there aren’t any hot-shots, then what’s a game about?” (8). In the story, Holden gets kicked out
Adolescence is the transitional period of psychological changes that generally occurs during puberty. Although the Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951, when the characteristics of adolescents were not fully acknowledged, Salinger portrays adolescents’ struggle comprehensively. He depicts teenagers’ unstable mindsets through the Catcher in the Rye, especially through his teenaged protagonist, Holden Caulfield. Throughout The Catcher in the Rye, he uses Holden to convey the immature curiosity, painfulness of the process of growing up for a typical teenagers and adolescents’ view on the adult world.
Tragic events can affect your mindset in irreversible ways, causing self-destructive behavior, low self-esteem, and devious actions. Jerome David Salinger in his novel, The Catcher in the Rye, he develops the character of Holden Caulfield, an adolescent boy who is living a tragedy, causing suffering and deep pain within him. According to Mary Klages from the University of Colorado, she incorporates Warren Hedges and Freud through a psychoanalytic lens and they come to a conclusion that psychoanalytical approaches reveal how and why people behave as they do, which helps clarify Holden Caulfield’s actions in the novel. Holden is presented as a troubled adolescent, facing discontent of his childhood in which he desires not to describe much in
In The Catcher in the Rye, the author J.D. Salinger, introduces the protagonist; Holden Caulfield. Holden feels the sense that he cannot choose between the two worlds. For example, he makes it seem as both of them are complete opposites from each other. In the book, Holden wants to keep his innocence, but he also wants to grow up and toss that innocence away. He still keeps his childhood personality by constantly obsessing over things that shouldn’t matter. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden demonstrates the struggle of transitioning between childhood and adulthood by revealing his hassle to grow up.
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 novel The Catcher in the Rye, there are many themes, motifs and symbols that emerge and develop along with Holden, the protagonist, and the plot. Though the most significant theme is alienation as means for self-protection. In many instances, Holden isolates and alienates himself from his peers and the world in order to protect his morals and his self-imposed superiority. The first evidence of this alienation occurs when Holden speaks to his history teacher, Mr. Spencer. While talking about Mr. Thurmer’s lecture, Holden begins to ponder the “right side”, stating “if you get on the other side, where there aren’t any hot-shots, then what’s the game about?” (Salinger 12).
Life can either be taken way too seriously, or not at all. Some people choose to take life seriously by following all the rules that are enforced on us from birth until we get older, and others choose to take their own path and see where it takes them. The second behavior can be seen as treating life like a game. In Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Dr. Thurmer says that “life is a game that one plays according to the rules,” and Mr. Spencer mentions that idea to Holden while they talk. Although Holden does not think life is a game, his behavior and experiences show otherwise throughout the book.
Attending school in the 1950s, Holden is a victim of a conformist American society. In a historical context, postwar America is characterized by a booming economy, industrialization and the creation of uniform suburban communities throughout the country. There was also a call for a united America, with the tensions of the Cold War taking hold and a need to fight communism. This attitude of uniformity could be seen in the American education system at the same time, where students were expected to fit the mould of the ideal American child. This child was idealized as being obedient, respectful and subordinate to their superiors. This is exactly what Holden grows to detest whilst attending Pencey, the conformist culture he was forced into, which Holden describes as “corny” (Salinger, 19) or “phony”
Holden’s little brother, Allie, passed away some years before the story takes place, and is one of the biggest factors in his refusal to let go of the past. For instance, even after so much time has passed, Holden names his dead sibling when asked by Phoebe if there’s anything in the world he cares about. Without memories of Allie, there is apparently nothing else to fit that claim. Allie’s old baseball mitt is still Holden’s most prized possession, and, due to its close personal nature compared to any other items on hand, he writes about it for an assignment even when it goes against the prompt. Therefore, taking note of the effects the death still deals presently, and considering Holden “broke all the windows” in the garage with his fists the day after the death occurred, it makes sense to conclude Allie’s loss has caused him to embrace a jaded view of life and humanity (Salinger, 39). Despite it all, Holden’s venture to the park with Phoebe seems to
1) In this quote, the term being used is metaphor because Life and Game are two completely different things but they are being compared to each other like if they are similar.
In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger portrays a fascinating juvenile misfit character extensively named Holden Caulfield. Holden goes to school at the age of sixteen and is said to be a misfit in society. However, even though society is corrupt in some ways, Holden Caulfield is a misfit no matter if people say he is misunderstood in the eyes of society.
In the novel Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger readers are introduced to a young man named Holden Caulfield who introduces himself and begins to tell his story of how and why he left his school; Pencey Prep. In the story, Holden explains how he is being kicked out of school and doesn't want his parents to know and so leaves school early. throughout the story, Holden explains what happens to him before he must go home and act like he is home from school for a break instead of being kicked out. When it comes to the topic of Author's purpose of The will of individual vs the will of the majority some will think the purpose is to show that Holden going against the will of society to rebel, however, I think the author’s purpose of The Catcher in the Rye was to show that the individual will manifest in his desire for isolation comes from his is fear and damage done by fear of pain, failure, rejection, and is unwilling or unable to go along with the majority. This all shown through Imagery, symbolism, and diction.