Comparing The Catcher And The Rye, By J. D. Salinger

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The novel The Catcher and the Rye by , J.D. Salinger follows the trials of a mentally ill teen on the run from his school in an attempt to reconcile his life. Holden wants to protect all those who are innocent, but due to his disgust for the phoniness of the world, this leads him to disengage from society. Isolation causes Holden tremendous distress leading to severe depression. The author uses ducks to symbolise innocence in the novel; along with Holden’s obligation to save all things pure due to the guilt he bears in not being able to save his brother from leukemia. This guides the reader through Holden’s journey with the hope that he will be capable to adapt to the changes in his life and obtain emotional stability. Holden 's fixation for innocent beings prompts him to constantly think about their welfare, and how he can protect from them from harm by becoming a catcher in the rye. These thoughts subconsciously direct Holden 's attention away from his own…show more content…
Since Holden did not properly deal with the death of his brother, he never accepts the changes this brought to his life, as he still finds himself stuck in the denial phase of grief. While in New York, he finds himself riding in a cab, and in an attempt to reach out to someone, “[he] thought of something, by any chance do you know where they go, the ducks”(Pg. 67). When Holden ask his cab driver about the ducks; he is relating this question towards himself to find out what is wrong with him. When the ducks environment changes to winter, they learn to adapt, by moving west to survive. Contrary to Holden who tries to alter his own environment to his liking, by isolating himself from society, but this only leads Holden into forming depression. Due to Holden’s lack of knowledge of social interaction, “[he] began crying and all, [he guessed] it was because [he]was feeling so damn depressed and lonesome”(pg. 169). Holden 's resentfulness to adapt to change and engage in society causes his depression consume
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