Holden Caulfield Existentialism

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In a Flux The novel Catcher In The Rye written by J.D. Salinger has many prominent Existentialist views through the story. The novel’s main character is Holden Caulfield, who has just been expelled from high school. This is not the first time an event like this has happened. The novel is written about Holden remembering times he had in high school, while he is in a mental institute. Holden’s recollections of his teenage years are immoral and constantly flowing from one household to the next. The author of the novel had a very similar life the Holden Caulfield and many believe that he is portrayed through the main character. J.D Salinger wrote Catcher In The Rye paralleling the Existential thought that life is a constant flux. Existentialists believe that the meaning of life comes from being flux. Holden Caulfield is constantly going through continuous change. His views on purity and impurity constantly change throughout the novel. Many may suggest that he is a hypocrite because of him continuously changing between different moralities, claiming, “I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life.” (Fitzgerald 16). A recurring…show more content…
Holden is described in the novel trying to pray at times when he feels very depressed and lonely. Laying in bed after trying to “talk” to Allie and “felt like prying or something when [he] was in bed, but [he] couldn’t do it. [He] can’t always pray when [he] feels like it. In the first place, [he’s] sort of an atheist.” (Fitzgerald 99). He is in a flux in life and drifting through with no guidance or guidelines. Believing that the Disciples are phonies is another reason why Holden claims he is atheist. When trying to explain how the Disciplines are phonies, he precedes to contradict himself, once again being very hypocritical. Holden thinks of religion very nonchalantly, and does not view it as a
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