The struggle of adolescence combined with the themes of loss and isolation through one Holden Caulfield. This coming of age story of Holden in J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye is a famous all american masterpiece. Within the book, Salinger’s is known for his frequent and detailed use of symbolism from Holden’s hat representing his shield and childlike vulnerability to the ducks in Central Park as a reflection of his subconscious mind trying to get help. One famous symbolism is the small detail of Holden’s right hand, specifically his inability to make a fist gives a window into his character and reflects his current state of mind and his path to adulthood. Psychologically analysing Holden, his fist is an important symbolic indicator of
Holden tends to hate confrontation, throughout the novel and always is about to do something but chooses in the end to not. Caulfield is his own antagonist he craves company but takes pride in his idea of people being too “phony” that he pushes everyone away, he takes his own happiness away and alienates himself from people who love and want to help him. When attending Pencey prep Caulfield spent his time hating everyone and did not socialize with others. He talks about how everyone when going to football games all hang out but he never mentions himself going to
Caulfield also changes in his philosophy of being “the catcher in the rye” when at the carousel, he says that he feels children should be left to grab the gold rings at the carousel. These and many other reasons are why Holden Caulfield is a dynamic character in The Catcher in The Rye. Early in the book, it is evident that Holden is very indifferent when it comes to academics. He wrote in a letter to Mr. Spencer, “It is alright with me if you flunk me though as I am flunking everything else except English anyway,” which shows his obvious lack of interest into succeeding academically. Holden also tells the reader that he has been to many different schools because of his academic
Finally he puts Cordelia’s love above anything else to such a point that he would rather live in prison with her than rule as a king again. From this we feel sympathy as we can see the endeavor to change which earns respect from others. On the other hand we have Holden Caulfield. I don’t think Holden does learn from his mistakes as he is oblivious to what others believe and his maturity doesn’t allow him to see past this. I think this as towards the end he says he will apply himself at his new school, but he isn’t sure.This shows me that he hasn’t learnt from his mistakes.
Isolated...Hatred of cliques...and judgmental. These are three traits that belong to Holden Caulfield, the creation of J.D. Salinger inside the novel The Catcher In The Rye. These are the traits which molds his inability to fit in on Kwajalein and to create peers. Holden has been exposed to many traumatic events in his lifetime, ranging from the death of his brother Allie, and the possible sexual assault(s) from an unknown (to the reader) assailant.
He is called in several sources as a half man. Holden Caulfield was this kind of person and as it is expected from a picaro, he rejects conformity, reigning social conventions and shallowness of the 50s America. The estrangement of Holden rises with every page of the novel and we notice that his living in the established order is impossible. People around discomfort and disappoint him so he permanently says “People never notice anything” (9) / “People never believe you” (37) / “People always clap for the wrong things” (84). “The negative characteristics of Holden like swearing, smoking, tactless and disrespect that he shows to people around him makes him a typical anti-hero and rebel that doesn’t suit the society around him so, consequently, turns into a victim of it”(Berezhna 42).
Throughout a child 's life, sooner or later they get thrown into the teenage experience which starts their transition from childhood to adulthood. In the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, the main character Holden Caulfield is stuck in his childhood and does not want to grow up. He is a very complex character and has an odd way of dealing with his emotions; he doesn 't. When Holden is faced with a problem, instead of facing it and slowly working his way through it, he tries to get rid of it entirely.
In a world filled with contradictions and challenges, the absence of love forces many to attach meaning in anything they can find. The Catcher in the rye is the odyssey of a young boy named Holden Caulfield who faces many challenges, compounded by a childhood that lacked affection and love. Salinger describes Holden’s lifestyle as one that possess many troubles. Throughout the novel it is evident that Holden’s character develops from someone who is detached from the world, to someone who learns to understand why things are the way they are. The absence of love forces Holden to attach to anything or anyone he deems important, and due to that he finds it difficult to express his feelings, and finds it difficult to respond to affection.
Holden Caulfield has often been depicted as rebel against the norms of 1950s American society by the readers of The Catcher in the Rye because of his desire to escape society and by rejecting the ideal of the American dream that societal institutions attempt to instill within him. However, throughout J. D. Salinger 's novel, the 16 year old’s anguish and actions reflect that he is still coming to terms with the death of his younger brother, Allie. Due to his grief, Holden is someone who cares more about assisting and protecting children and because of this, resists considering his own place within society and the process of becoming an adult. Through Holden’s recollections of his deceased brother, his interactions with children, and how he changes when interacting with his younger sister, it is evident that Holden wrestles with the expectations placed on him to grow up because he wishes to retain and preserve childhood innocence within others to cope with his grief. Holden, who has been consistently disdainful of the ‘phonies’ in his family like D.B.
At the beginning of Chapter 18 in the novel, Holden Caulfield faced an indecisive direction whether he should contact a girl named Jane Gallagher. However, before Chapter 18, Holden had been manifesting his idea to contact her, whereas this moment plays a role to Holden Caulfield’s sexual views. Jane Gallagher plays an absent role throughout the story; despite the fact that Jane Gallagher has been mentioned to be one of the most important female characters to Holden Caulfield, with his younger sister Phoebe being the other. Holden Caulfield tried contacting her home telephone but no one picked up. As a result, Holden tried to consult one of his childhood friends Carl Luce suddenly, in order to discuss sexual experiences that Carl Luce have had out of “random interests”.