Salinger's novel, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield undergoes significant changes in his personality and outlook on life. Holden is introduced in the book as a disengaged, rebellious adolescent who rejects parental authority and personal relationships. Yet, as the story goes on, Holden grows more aware of how his actions influence others, open to asking for help and support, and tolerant of the hardships and challenges of life. These three factors have all assisted in Holden's character and personal development. Holden becomes more conscious of the value of interpersonal relationships after realizing how his actions affect other people.
He is unable to embrace the challenges and responsibilities of adulthood because he is fixated on the innocence and purity of childhood. His interactions with Phoebe, his younger sister, demonstrate this. When Phoebe asks Holden "you know what I'd like to be? I mean if I had my goddamn choice?", he starts to talk about being "the catcher in the rye" (173). He sees himself as the protector of childhood innocence, Holden also imagines scenarios showing his resistance to adult responsibilities and challenges.
Altogether, Holden wants to protect children to prevent them from dying at a young age because Allie’s death is already too much for him to handle. He is even going beyond the limits to do this, as he is willing to dedicate his life to it. Secondly, as Holden is walking through the school, he notices, “Somebody’d written ‘Fuck you’ on the wall. It drove me damn near crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would se it…” (201)
How Holden matured People go through rough stuff in their lives, such as losing a close sibling. It seems impossible to pull yourself out of the pain and guilt of your loss. It appeared Holden was in the same predicament, but through his experiences in the novel The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger he learns to grow up. Aside from being very immature, holden refuses to grow up and dislikes people who have grown up.
These two struggles are what causes Holden to realise his purpose is being a catcher in the rye. His struggle to adulthood is quite evident. Holden states that the adult world is a nasty and horrible place, he thinks that the adult world is very phony, fake, and corrupt. These are words he uses quite often to describe the adult world, proving that he despises the thought of being an adult.
Holden 's life issue is his need to be, “The Catcher in the Rye”, his life lesson is how he overcomes it. At the end of the novel Holden comes to the understanding that everyone grows up. At the end of the book Holden accepts that he doesn 't need to be little kids protectors and that Phoebe wants to grow up and be an adult. Even though he didn 't grow to his full potential at the end of the novel his progression is made apparent by the quote “Don’t tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody” (Salinger 214).
While many argue that Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye does not deviate from the traditional anti-hero attributes and, therefore, does not display any prominent change, an argument can be made to the contrary. Holden Caulfield goes through some noticeable character development and is in a better place emotionally at the end of the book because he speaks with Phoebe. His meeting with Phoebe and Phoebe’s message to him shows him a youth’s perspective on his world, rather than the superficial sincerity of his elderly professor and his favorite teacher that makes advances on him. Additionally, him being able to successfully communicate with a member of his own family puts him in a better place. His time with her lets him see his own self-image of a “catcher in the rye.”
The ending chapter of the novel Holden finds the loss of innocence he’s been searching for. When Phoebe is riding the carousel and she reaches for the ring, it represents maturing. Phoebe is a symbol for youth and innocence, and she is reaching for maturity. Holden’s struggles during the novel, “The Catcher In The Rye,” he figures out the true loss of innocence lost in becoming an adult and the struggle to be one and Holden struggling to be the catcher in the rye to catch kids from losing adulthood. His relationship struggles are his key factors which makes Holden who he truly
In Chapter 9-14 Holden Caulfield leaves Penecy Prep and heads to New York City. Where he will stay for a couple days before winter vacation starts and he will head home. Delaying breaking the news to his family he got kicked out of school for as long as possible. These chapters are where Holden’s loneliness becomes abundantly clear. The reader is subjected to many long rants by Holden about the company he wants, though he attempts to settle several times.
In this quote he tells that his brother died. This shows his brother died when he was young. Furthermore he dies as an innocent child who was not exposed to the adult world or the “phoniness.” Allie's death was tragic to Holden but maybe, in some ways Holden wanted the death himself, he wanted to preserve his innocence. Another point that shows Allie's mitt represents innocence is when Holden says Allie used to read poems on his glove while playing baseball which he wrote before the game so he wouldn’t be bored.
The reason that Holden Caulfield is always trying to stop kids from growing up in the first place is because he want’s to protect them, and shelter them from the bad things in the world. By the end of the novel Holden realizes that he can’t protect kids all the time or save their innocence. Holden comes right out and say’s that you can’t protect kids, or their innocence when Phoebe is riding the carousel toward the end of the book, Holden says “The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it's bad if you say anything to them". This quote is one reason that proves Holden was successful throughout his journey in the
He talks quite a bit about sex, but his virginity is the last existing innocence to him. Holden pays for a prostitute to have sex with, but he cannot go through with it. He is very hesitant about losing his innocence. Holden wants to be “the catcher in the rye” (191) and save all the innocence in the world. He believes that that is what he wants to do in the future as he tells his little sister, Phoebe.
In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden demonstrates the struggle of transitioning between childhood and adulthood by revealing his hassle to grow up. Maturity comes through being an adult and growing up is all about becoming more mature. Throughout the book, Holden goes through numerous conflicts and problems. In the beginning of the book, Holden is gives information about himself.
If the book is read solely on its surface level, it just seems like a book about an annoying teenager who just complains about everything, but the messages it carries are actually profound. For example, near the end of the story Holden is upset by some profane graffiti on the wall at a museum that says “F*** you” (Salinger 224). He is upset by it because he is worried some little kids will see it and wonder what it means, and then be curious enough to find out adn have their innocence stolen. He finds the graffiti multiple times in the museum. The profane graffiti, if looked at beyond the surface level, symbolises the fact that Holden can not do anything to stop little kids from losing their innocence.
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. The death of Holden 's younger brother Allie has caused him to confuse his perception of reality and to alienate himself.