Holden Caulfield Journey

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J.D Salinger’s, The Catcher in the Rye, follows the main character, Holden Caulfield, and his experiences that lead him to be talking to a mental therapist. Told through Holden’s eyes, his profane and blunt explanations of major moments in his life allow readers to see that Holden is not crazy but is actually struggling with transitioning from child to adult. Throughout the story, he fondly remembers his early childhood and is trying the best he can to run from adulthood. He fears that he, like so many around him, may become phony when he becomes an adult. This fear drives his actions and gives him a feeling of hatred toward phony adults and a feeling of obligation to shield children from the harsh adult world.
Throughout the novel, Holden
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Veterans’ Day at Pencey is not the same holiday as national Veterans Day in that Pencey celebrates their alumni returning as opposed to war veterans (168). His story begins when an older man knocked on his dorm room door (168). The man was in search of the bathroom because he wanted to find a pair of initials he had carved into one of the stall doors prior to his departure of the school (168). Holden and his roommate, Stradlater, lead him into the communal bathroom and waited with he and his family as the father searched each stall door for his initials he had left when he graduated (168-169). When the search was over and the man’s nostalgic feelings commenced, he went on to explain to both Stradlater and Holden that his days at Pencey were the best of his life (169). Holden being anti-Pencey in almost every way was appalled by the idea that someone could truly enjoy their days at a school he sees as phony (169). Holden, now depressed, goes on to explain that the old man was not a bad man at all but, “[a]ll you have to do to depress somebody is give them a lot of phony advice while you're looking for your initials in some can door” (169). By not blaming his depression on the old man, Holden is exemplifying his belief that it is not the person who makes themselves phony but society that causes the change. With age, Holden feels that there is an increased…show more content…
Holden, being a fan of D.B’s earlier works such as, “The Secret Goldfish,” was upset that his brother abandoned his dream and instead became a movie writer (2). Describing D.B as a prostitute, Holden expresses a sense of disapproval towards D.B’s actions (2). To Holden, D.B was a role model of someone chasing their dream, however when the adult world came for D.B, he abandoned his goals and chased the money all the way to Hollywood (2). Holden felt cheated and it seemed to be the first time where he experienced someone he thought to be strong become a phony. Throughout his childhood, D.B was the inspirational figure that Holden always wanted to be. By D.B ditching Holden and all the ideas he expressed to him prior, Holden was left with an extreme fear that he too may ditch his aspirations in life thus creating an even greater fear of growing up. Holden’s questions about D.B becoming a phony did not start when D.B moved to Hollywood but D.B’s choice of war literature confused Holden as well. Holden explained that D.B was in the army and was on the beaches on D-Day (140). Even though he was at war, D.B would tell his family and especially his younger siblings that he was against the war (140). However, D.B recommended the book, A Farewell To Arms, to Holden explaining that it was very good (140). After reading the story, Holden was confused on how D.B could enjoy books about
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