Theme Of Self-Actualization In Catcher In The Rye

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Although humans throughout history have been judged by their achievements, intentions, and profile, the importance of human potential cannot be disregarded. Potential, whether it be studied psychologically through experiments, through fine arts through literary criticism, or even physically through concepts such as potential energy, continues to be a heavy topic of research and study. Self-actualization, or the realization of that namesake human potential, is a collective goal for every human being to become their best self. Another definition of self-actualization via Maslow’s hierarchy of needs presented it as the “final goal” of humans after finding bare necessities for survival, security, emotional connections, and obtaining a reservoir …show more content…

In any work of fiction, there is bound to be a character who undergoes major changes in his personality and tries to fulfill his/her inner potential. Often times, as is the case with many of these novels, main characters in works like these mirror the inner thoughts and aspirations of the authors, giving anecdotal evidence and experiences via personal storytelling. Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger explores this theme via a first-person narrative, carefully crafting and weaving stories and small details to invite the reader to sympathize in Holden Caulfield’s experience. Although critics often “complain of the novel’s pedestrian content,” in reality, personal storytelling and integrating themes into dialect is different from pedestrian, uninteresting content because of the nuances embedded within the text (Roemer 5). In his first description of Allie, although the passage is just a “pedestrian” description, the sheer difficulty of opening up and exploring themes subtly comes up via Salinger’s syntax, diction, and tone of the passage. This criticism of the novel juxtaposes Stradlater’s criticism of Holden’s essay about Allie’s baseball glove. Stradlater plays the part of the unaware critic, not looking past the topic and failing to consider the significance of the baseball glove. Likewise, passages such as the one below have masqueraded importance to

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