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
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”
When the weather turns cold, we all know, birds fly south for the winter. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden brings up the question about where the ducks go when the lagoon in Central Park freezes many times during the course of the first 14 chapters. I think there is a significance in that. Why and when does Holden bring up the ducks? What do the ducks and the frozen pond symbolize and why are they significant enough to take into account?
This shows that the Museum is a symbol of Holden’s reluctance for change, in himself and in the world. Central Park is the location where Holden goes in order to answer his question of where the ducks go in the winter. This question could represent Holden’s
The Catcher and the Rye a novel by J.D Salinger exposes the reader to the recurring theme of Holden refusing to let go of his childhood. After the death of his younger brother Allie, Holden refuses to let go of his memory and continues to act as a child. This idea is first really developed when Holden asks his taxi driver about the Central Park ducks. This is not the first time that Holden has been interested in the Central Park ducks. The driver Horwitz explains that the ducks can fly away, but it really it is the fish that Holden should be thinking about.
Holden’s unusual fantasy metaphorically displays this desire to save children’s innocence on his quest, and literally displays his obsession with death and preventing it, as being the catcher in the rye would accomplish both goals. F. Literary Critics also note that Holden’s catcher in the rye job is a dream of his that he pretends to be a reality to hide the fact that he secretly knows that he is unable to save the innocence of all children. G. Authors James E. Miller jr, and Arthur Heiserman explicitly state that, “Holden delights in circles – a comforting bounded figure which yet connotes hopelessness” (Miller, Heiserman 496). H. The “comforting bounded figure” is Holden’s catcher fantasy that he literally uses to comfort himself against the reality he refuses to believe because it “connotes hopelessness” and he is still too innocent and naïve to accept that. I. Holden possesses this dream as a weak attempt to save the innocence of children and to avoid a hopeless reality of defeat he has yet to accept.
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.” By, Holden has been able to change and will be able to change even more in the future.
Holden utilizes the mitt as a reminiscense of his younger brother, whom he loved with all his heart. 3.) After the death of Holden's younger brother Allie, Holden expresses emotions that were previously concealed. Holden illustrates his true emotions when Allie "wrote them on it so that he'd have something to read when he was in the field and nobody was up at bat. He's dead now" (49).
The Catcher in the Rye, Jerome D. Salinger’s one and only full novel, was written in 1951. Since then, it has sold more than 65 million copies and translated into most of the world’s major languages. This book tells the story of Holden Caulfield, a 16 year old who can’t seem to be able to stay at one school and despises the “phoniness” of adult-life. One day, he must grow up, but Salinger is there to lead him throughout the book. Salinger uses symbolism to convey a maturation theme in his work.
Holden’s Struggle To Find Himself: Throughout the novel, The Catcher In The Rye, by J.D. Salinger, Holden struggles to find himself and who he truly is in order to be happy. His struggles relate to many things that he does or say in particular. Holden lacks with a social status with women and his family, whether it’s a relationship or being antisocial. Throughout The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield experiences the complexities and struggles involved with both physical and emotional relationships.
He sees himself as the useless member of the family, and states that he’s “the only dumb one in the family” (67). The most heartbreaking cause of Holden’s loneliness is the death of his young brother, Allie, to leukemia. The brothers’ connection is shown through the symbol of Allie’s red hair, which Holden could have a “hunch” for even if Allie was sitting “a hundred and fifty yards” away (38). The cut of a bond this deep devastates Holden. Unfortunately, because of his inactive parents, he deals with it through anger and isolation that is symbolized by the red hunting hat he wears.
The beginning of Holden’s journey starts with the innocence and naivety of childhood. Childhood is the stage that ignorance is bliss with no care in the world. Holden goes to a prestigious boarding school for boys and he believes that everyone in that school is a phony in some way. Holden is an observant character as he stays in the background, but he can also cause the most trouble. Like a child, he asks many questions and he is very curious to the point that he can be annoying.
In day 4 of the reading, Holden takes a cab drive and once again brings up the question of where the ducks go during the winter, symbolizing his childlike curiosity and how he wants to be free from society just like the ducks. Holden brings up the question about the ducks, asking "does somebody come around in a truck or something and take them away?" (Page 82). This shows Holden's childlike curiosity is still prevalent, asking a question that is obviously untrue but an ideal solution to the question. It also symbolizes how he is like a duck, who does not know what he wants to do, whether it is to transition into an adult and fly away, or stay in the lake and freeze in childhood.