Catcher In The Rye Theme Essay

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Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and literary devices that can help develop and inform the text's major themes. One of the prominent themes in the novel The Catcher in the Rye and one of great interest to the narrator himself, would be the omnipresent theme of death. It could be argued that the novel is not only full of references to death in the literal sense, physical disappearance, but also in the metaphorical, taking the form of spiritual disappearance, something which Holden often focuses on, along with the actual theme of mortality. It is possible that this occurs in his reluctance to interact with the living world, as his means of escaping from the reality he despises, his mundane thoughts and the “phoniness” that he is surrounded with. Holden becomes increasingly attracted to the idea and comes close to obsession, as his mind is flooded with thoughts of death and disappearance, as well as questions which are revealed throughout the novel.…show more content…
This is clearly seen on the occasion of his interaction with Mr. Antolini whom as soon as he made an affectionate move towards Holden, he labelled him as a pervert and wished to be known as deaf-mute thereon, a metaphorical death, "I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody”. Death to him in this case acts as a form of isolation that either could be personal, social or mental. For this reason, Holden is seen at many occasions alienating people as a form of self-protection, but at the same time being his very source of pain. At times wished for death, in this case he wishes for disappearance, in his search for peace but at the same time dreads it, being his source of
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