Catcher In The Rye Bildungsroman Analysis

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Register to read the introduction…In this novel J.D. Sallinger chooses a different type of protagonist for a bildungsroman in Holden Caulfield. Holden’s seldom goal, some would say, is to resist the process of maturity itself. His thoughts about the Natural Museum of History show, he is scared of change and is in fear of complexity. We learn of Holden’s fear of growing up and entering adulthood. However, instead of acknowledging that adulthood scares him, he tries to create a fantasy in which adulthood is all full of phonies and childhood is all filled with innocence. Throughout the novel we see Holden try to cling on to his own childhood but also in turn he wants to prevent others from exiting their childhood. This is optimized when he talks about himself wanting to ‘ be the catcher in the rye and all.’ From this quote we learn that Holden perceives adulthood as something that just happens and you don’t see it coming. He wants to stop people and prevent them from entering adulthood, which he likens to being like falling off of a cliff; “What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff” . His thoughts of comparing entering adulthood to falling off a cliff, is something we might link to death. So we can say that Holden links going into adulthood to death. Due to this we feel lots of sympathy for him. In the play King Lear we also see King Lear having to let certain things go. One…show more content…
This could come down to if he learns from his mistakes and also becomes more insightful. Some would say no; he doesn’t completely recover his sanity and emerge as a better king. However his values do change over the course of the play. As he realises his weaknesses and insignificance in comparison to some of natures forces, he becomes a humble and caring individual. Finally he puts Cordelia’s love above anything else to such a point that he would rather live in prison with her than rule as a king again. From this we feel sympathy as we can see the endeavor to change which earns respect from others. On the other hand we have Holden Caulfield. I don’t think Holden does learn from his mistakes as he is oblivious to what others believe and his maturity doesn’t allow him to see past this. I think this as towards the end he says he will apply himself at his new school, but he isn’t sure.This shows me that he hasn’t learnt from his mistakes. As a result of this I don’t think Holden learns so I struggle to feel sympathy for
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