Holden Caulfield, the main protagonist in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, embodies the classic teenager in the process of discovering himself, and how the world works. But, regardless of Holden 's rich, prep school lifestyle, the series of events that have mapped out his life up to this point have utterly affected his emotional well being and perception of the world. Many traumatic events such as the death of holds brother Allie, the death of a class mate, and countless numbers of awkward incidents with adults have all added up to affects Holden 's well-being and detach him from reality.
Holden has the choice to either act like an adult or play like a child when he comes across a problem. But not surprisingly, he can’t choose which path to follow, so he stays stuck in the middle. This middle grey area of transitioning from childhood to adulthood for Holden is what is causing his problems and what is making his choices and decisions a lot harder. Holden 's past experiences have taken a toll on him and are starting to cause present issues for him. Holden was only thirteen when his younger brother passed away and it hit him hard.
In J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, the ongoing tension between maturity and innocence helps show the simultaneous presence of youth’s purity and adulthood’s corruption in Holden’s mind. In his bildungsroman, Salinger illustrates the all necessary struggle of adolescence that strives to balance purity and corruption as Holden comes to terms with the indefinite nature growing up. In Holden 's eyes, very few people in his life are “worthy” of his respect. One example of the innocent and pure and those who receive respect from Holden are nuns.
Holden’s Struggle To Find Himself: Throughout the novel, The Catcher In The Rye, by J.D. Salinger, Holden struggles to find himself and who he truly is in order to be happy. His struggles relate to many things that he does or say in particular. Holden lacks with a social status with women and his family, whether it’s a relationship or being antisocial. Throughout The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield experiences the complexities and struggles involved with both physical and emotional relationships.
J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye tells the heart-wrenching story of a young teenager’s battle to fit in with the world around him. Although Holden Caufield’s privileged life at home and at Pency Prep, is seemingly ideal, he struggles to find meaning. He travels throughout New York City, witnessing human behavior that depresses him. Some of the issues that most trouble Holden are adult phoniness, religion’s phoniness, and school’s phoniness. Because of Holden’s brother’s death, and his own acute intelligence, Holden is better able to see societal flaws.
Holden struggles with growing up and facing reality. There are many examples of Holden’s immaturity that are displayed in many forms such as facing responsibilities, his speech, his actions, and etc. Holden’s outlook on adult life is that it is superficial and brimming with phonies, but childhood was all about looking pleasing and innocent. He wants everything to stay the same and for time to stop. As Holden progresses in age, he will discover more about becoming mature in the
The beginning of Holden’s journey starts with the innocence and naivety of childhood. Childhood is the stage that ignorance is bliss with no care in the world. Holden goes to a prestigious boarding school for boys and he believes that everyone in that school is a phony in some way. Holden is an observant character as he stays in the background, but he can also cause the most trouble. Like a child, he asks many questions and he is very curious to the point that he can be annoying.
From the outset, I have to say that “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger has been one of the most important and influential pieces of literature I have ever read. At its core, the book is a superb coming of age novel which discusses several extremely powerful themes such as the difficulties of growing up, teenage angst and alienation and the superficiality, hypocrisy and pretension of the adult world. These themes resonated deeply with me and were portrayed excellently through the use of powerful symbolism and the creation of highly relatable and likable characters. One such character is Holden Caulfield whom the story both revolves around and is narrated by.
In the paradoxical personality of Holden we discover something much deeper. As Holden makes himself out to be tougher than what he actually is, Salinger introduces stubbornness. Holden’s true nature of gentleness and sensitivity offered throughout the book often brings bedlam into his life, though Salinger brings into
Holden’s unusual fantasy metaphorically displays this desire to save children’s innocence on his quest, and literally displays his obsession with death and preventing it, as being the catcher in the rye would accomplish both goals. F. Literary Critics also note that Holden’s catcher in the rye job is a dream of his that he pretends to be a reality to hide the fact that he secretly knows that he is unable to save the innocence of all children. G. Authors James E. Miller jr, and Arthur Heiserman explicitly state that, “Holden delights in circles – a comforting bounded figure which yet connotes hopelessness” (Miller, Heiserman 496). H. The “comforting bounded figure” is Holden’s catcher fantasy that he literally uses to comfort himself against the reality he refuses to believe because it “connotes hopelessness” and he is still too innocent and naïve to accept that. I. Holden possesses this dream as a weak attempt to save the innocence of children and to avoid a hopeless reality of defeat he has yet to accept.
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.
Holden “‘[does not] like the idea” of boys doing “crumby stuff” to girls without liking them; such ideas “stink” in Holden’s eyes, but he does not put all of the blame on boys. He says that girls “[are not] too much help, either.” Holden speculates that both sides, male and female, have faults and that there could be improvement. His realizations further bolster his stature on relationships and human tendencies. In conclusion, Holden’s ethos on girls and sexuality tied to them is very unique in comparison to other coequals he encounters in The Catcher in the Rye.