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Character Development In Holden Caulfield In The Catcher In The Rye

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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. Phoebe was Holden’s push in the right direction. By directly asking, “name one thing [that you like]” (220), she is forcing him to think about changing his ways. While just thinking about change may not seem like a lot, it’s a lot more than he’s done already. While Spencer, Antolini, and Phoebe all give him virtually the same advice, he only listens to Phoebe. She makes Holden reconsider his actions and his aspirations, causing him to come to terms with his desire of being a “catcher in the rye,” keeping children from falling off of a cliff. This represents him wanting to keep…show more content…
All throughout the book, Holden is trying to find someone to listen to him. He even paid a sex worker just so he could talk with her. “Old Phoebe didn’t say anything, but she was listening. I could tell by the back of her neck that she was listening. She always listens when you tell her something” (218). By finally being able to communicate to someone and have them actually listen, Holden is finally able to
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