In J.D. Salinger's fiction book, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden, a teen living in the 1940’s, experiences his teen years in strange and unusual ways. Holden teaches us that everyone experiences frustrations throughout life but can always manage them. Some readers of the novel believe that the book has lost its significance due to the fact that it was written so long ago. Others, such as the author of source 2, think that the book can still teach many important themes relevant to today’s society. Although it may seem that the book has lost some importance, the book is still very relevant and should be continued to be read today.
In the book Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger, the narrator and protagonist Holden Caulfield a sixteen year old junior undergoes a series of changes. Holden learns multiple life changing lessons; one of them is you must grow up. In the beginning of the novel, Holden starts out as “that kid”; the one with the parents who expect him to get into an ivy league school, and end up with a kid with no intentions of doing so. At the beginning of the book it is very apparent that Holden lacks motivation; he also has hit rock bottom. Although Holden is a very intelligent character he finds the hypocrisy and ugliness in the world around him and quickly associates it with the adult world.
In chapter ten of The Outsiders, Ponyboy is as expected takes the death of Johnny and Dally extremely poorly. He cannot understand how he lost his friends so quickly and he does not know how to process all of it. Since Ponyboy is unable to accept their death he tells himself that they are not dead in order to cope with what has happened (Hinton, 2006, p. 150). Overall, too much has happened so quickly that he emotionally and mentally cannot think about the death of his friends, therefore, he perceives them as still being alive.
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 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.
J.D. Salinger uses varying diction and syntax in “The Catcher in the Rye” to create mood and tone throughout the novel. The specific choice of words (diction) that the author uses contributes to the characterization of Holden Caulfield. The use of profane and jargon-like word choice encapsulates the voice of the teenage narrator Holden. Holden’s informal diction emphasizes his immaturity and allows the reader to learn more about Holden’s character. Holden often uses the word “and” in a repetitive manner which gives the reader a child-like impression of Holden. The syntax, or sentence structure, used in the novel also facilitates the portrayal of Holden Caulfield. His frequent use of incomplete and run-on sentences shows his poor grammar skills
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”
The challenges Holden prevails overemphasize his diligence and highlight the committed route he embarks on as a hero. Salinger utilizes Holden’s hardships to portray the struggle he encounters while battling against his adverse odds during his escapade. Through Salinger’s interpretation of a hero, he depicts Holden as a character who persists to pass the obstacles that confront him; to illustrate, Holden’s constant feeling of loneliness consumes him along with his demoralizing background, providing an unstable foundation for Holden to grow and mature: "…I had this feeling that I 'd never get to the other side of the street. I thought I 'd just go down, down, down, and nobody 'd ever see me again…I 'd make believe I was talking to my brother
After arriving, Holden “went into [a] phone booth” and spent “about twenty minutes” without calling anybody (77-78). After pondering the many people he could call, Holden finally thinks of calling “Carl Luce, but [he] didn’t like him much” (78). While Holden has many people whom he could call, he spends twenty minutes convincing himself of why he cannot call any of these people. This illustrates alienation as Holden chooses to avoid talking to others, isolating himself when he could have easily chosen to interact with others. Moreover, this alienation provides Holden with self-protection as he does not run into any chances of his parents finding out that he has been expelled from school and has run away to New York. Part of the reason Holden does not call his sister, Phoebe, is due to his “parents being the ones that answered the phone” (77). Holden finds protection in avoiding talking to anybody, which results in isolation. This event contributes to plot development as after refusing to call anybody, Holden continues to make excuses for things he should be doing, but does not. With each of Holden’s excuses, new adventures arrive, thus thickening and developing the
Adulthood is when we mature into a person that continues to live life in reality as we let our childhood and adolescence become a faint memory. The memories, however, taught us lessons of acceptance as we cannot always shape the future. Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye takes a journey through the rite of passage by experiencing the innocence of youth and the phoniness of adulthood.
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.
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.
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.