In the book Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger, the narrator and protagonist Holden Caulfield a sixteen year old junior undergoes a series of changes. Holden learns multiple life changing lessons; one of them is you must grow up. In the beginning of the novel, Holden starts out as “that kid”; the one with the parents who expect him to get into an ivy league school, and end up with a kid with no intentions of doing so. At the beginning of the book it is very apparent that Holden lacks motivation; he also has hit rock bottom. Although Holden is a very intelligent character he finds the hypocrisy and ugliness in the world around him and quickly associates it with the adult world.
Holden is now lost in his own fantasy world not wanting to grow up from his childhood life, due to the tragedy of Allies death. Freud’s theory would examine the depth of the unconscious state and its primary root source attached to incomprehensible pain by noting, “the preconscious state holds information we’ve stored from past experience...This information can be retrieved from memory and brought into awareness at any time” (Freud 469). Because Holden never stops thinking of his brother he is trapped in his own world and can’t find an escape to his mood disorder of depression and his emotion of tribulant grief. However, Holden acknowledges that he is lost, “they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all…I don’t blame them” (Salinger 38). Moreover, Holden neglects to grow up. Salinger attributes Holden’s words by implying,‘Oh, I feel some concern for my future, all right. Sure. Sure, I do.’ I thought about it for a minute. ‘But not too much, I guess’ (14). Holden didn’t want to grow up from his childhood years or even think of the future. He wants to remain in his childhood years, when everything was full of life and vivid happiness. Holden’s actions are also childlike, which makes his character unreliable at times, but it irritates Holden when people don’t take him seriously or simply notice that when he tries to change his behavior. For instance, Salinger mentions, “I get bored sometimes when people tell me to act my age. Sometimes I act a lot older than I am-I really do-but people never notice it. People never notice anything” (9). Salinger adds how people ‘never notice anything’ to Holden’s feelings because Holden is a boy, whom his parents don’t take care of, which sparks Holden’s feelings of no one even caring and noticing him. As identified in the beginning of the Novel Stradlater opens Holden’s feelings with dialogue which reveals “my parents were occupied and all that crap…” (1). Holden’s family wasn’t really there for him, when he need their advice or
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
Today we are dealing with Holden Caulfield, a 17 year old student who attends Pencey Prep in New York City. Holden is maturing quickly and has happened to grow six and a half inches in the past year. He has grey hair at the age of seventeen and is very skinny for his age. Holden’s family consists of his mom and dad, his brother D.B, and his sister Phoebe. Holden did have another brother, Allie, but he passed away when Holden was thirteen years old. Holden does not communicate with D.B often but they keep in touch once in awhile. On the other hand, Holden cares for and loves Phoebe with his whole heart; he would never let anything happen to her and he continues to worry about her and care for her. Holden is very passionate about his family but
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. Childhood is the stage of tantrums and Holden complains about a lot of people that he likes, but also hate. Ackley is an outcast that Holden describes as being ugly and a slob. Holden does not really like Ackley, however, he continues to talk to Ackley and be his friend. Holden’s actions are also hypocritical as he says he is annoyed with Ackley, but Holden is also lonely.
The first time in the book that Holden searches for acceptance, is with his teacher Mr. Spencer. Before he leaves Pencey, Holden runs to Spencer’s house to say goodbye and to get a sense of acceptance from his teacher. That is not the result he gets though, and Mr. Spencer makes him feel worse about leaving Pencey. Once he went into Old Spencer’s house, he “was sort of sorry I’d come”(Salinger 9). Mr. Spencer is one of the many people in Holden’s life that does not accept him, and instead shuts him down.
To add on, Holden is not one to follow society’s rules. Holden is not the person to be engaged in what society calls “normal” because he is not necessarily a “normal” kid. Meaning, society believes kids around his age are interested in football games(3), going on dates (26), or just going to school (35). Society believes teenagers should attend school, and in Holden’s case, High School. Holden is actually doing the complete opposite by getting kicked out and not getting the proper education. He actually managed to get kicked out of four schools, and does not care for what society thinks he should
The Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D. Salinger, is about an angsty and depressed, but inquisitive teenage male named Holden Caulfield. Through the duration of the novel, Holden’s characters personality was stagnant. He stayed the same throughout the entire novel, and had little to no character development. Holden was the main character of the novel with a few supporting characters. He encountered many different people on his journey to finding himself. Holden failed to tell his parents that he was kicked out of his boarding school, again. He felt the information was superfluous to others, other than to himself and other people he wanted to know, such as his younger sister, Phoebe.
Although most of the time, Holden demonstrates his rebellious side, he actually still has fragile side. “What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of good-by”(7). “Good-by” is a word can brings a sense of sadness. Holden’s thoughts about “good-by” demonstrate he is a fragile boy who is like a piece of glass, easy to be broken. This shows that Holden is a person who has desire to love and care from others. He wants to leave some impression to people. He wants them to remember him instead of ignoring. Holden is not as tough as he shows when he describes his parents and his brother D.B in the previous paragraphs. Another good example shows his fragility appears when his brother died and “[he] broke all the goddam windows
In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger portrays a fascinating juvenile misfit character extensively named Holden Caulfield. Holden goes to school at the age of sixteen and is said to be a misfit in society. However, even though society is corrupt in some ways, Holden Caulfield is a misfit no matter if people say he is misunderstood in the eyes of society.
As the book starts Holden describes his childhood and how he has been kicked out of several school and once more again from his currently school, giving a sense of irresponsibility and no care in the world. Holden later on mentioned slowly the loss of his brother due to leukemia and how he reacted outrageously by breaking the windows of his garage home. As a reader one would view that behavior as abnormal, but Peter Shaw descried it as a normal behavior for a fictional character in the 1950s and by mentioning that Holden, “is presenting in a somewhat different manner than are the sentimentalized young people in other novels if his period” (par. 3), admitting that Holden was somewhat of an outcast of a character even for its time he is still considered normal. Shaw also challenged the reader’s view of Holden by emphasizing that Holden is not a real person, but a fiction character developed in the 1950s and in fact a mad psychological character is normal and made the reading rather more interesting and acceptable during that time. As readers someone may come across as understanding Holden’s behavior due to a loss and everyone mourns differently and as Shaw said, “ the one period of life in which abnormal behavior is common rather than exceptional” (par.
Throughout the novel, Holden progresses to become more aware of his actions. Holden’s process is slowed an adolescent state of mind where his self-absorption doesn’t allows for him to fully see how his actions affect the outcomes he receives. Holden’s pathology consistently brings negative outcomes. Holden occasionally learns to take responsibility of his actions and realizes he must live in the present instead of the past. Holden is able to form meaningful connections with a limited few and use these as a hopeful path for his future.
Throughout one’s life it becomes evident very early on, that “nobody's perfect”. No matter the circumstances one is bound to need some sort of mischief in their life. This statement is also true for the following texts, whether it’s the subtlety of Catchers main character, Holden Caulfield or the obvious scheming ways of Odysseus in The Odyssey, tricksters play a crucial role in the plotline of the texts. However, being a trickster is not always considered to be a bad thing. It all depends on the intentions it is based upon and the way one goes about carrying it out. If both of those things correspond with inner kindness or positivity it is likely that the act will be perceived much better with less punishment also. The role of trickster characters throughout
Holden had to cope with big changes without the support of anyone. Adjusting to a new way of life is difficult on its own, but without anybody being there to teach and support him, it becomes increasingly more problematic. As he is reflecting on his life he states, "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, an what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me," (3). He felt like he couldn’t talk about his life to anyone and open up because the people who are supposed to be there to love and support you were absent for him. Holden thought that he did not belong, he says, “how my parents were occupied”, they were never able to give him support so he considered himself to be all alone. Because his parents didn’t care for him, he believed that nobody would. He kept all his feelings inside and was never able to open up to anyone even when he needed to. The only thing that his parents did for him, was bring him into a constant state of fear. The lack of
Throughout the course of the novel, Holden is constantly attempting to find somebody who is willing to both listen and