Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual”. In the book Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield’s lies become habitual throughout the book. Holden is a sixteen-year-old boy, who has been kicked out of several schools including, most recently, Pencey Prep. Holden’s younger brother, Allie, died when Holden was only thirteen and his older brother is too busy working for Hollywood to care about Holden. Although his mother cares immensely for him, Holden saddens her by failing academically. The only motivator that Holden has to continue living is his younger sister, Phoebe, who is extraordinarily intelligent for her age. After he gets kicked out of Pencey, Holden is lost in life. He speaks to many people, seeking advice and comfort, but they are not able to help him find a human connection. Holden’s depression increases throughout the novel, almost to the point of suicide. He criticizes many people and ideas, labeling them as ‘phony’. Holden lies as a result of his depression, in order to hide the fact that he’s lonely and bored with his life, to divert any questions which he believes are too personal, and to create his own reality. In this way, Salinger illustrates how, during difficult times, people resort to lying as a coping mechanism.
Holden is overall a confused and somewhat innocent teenager. He’s still a virgin and even though, he’s had the chance to lose it before he has chosen abstinence. He cries when the prostitute comes in because he doesn’t understand how someone quite beautiful could be doing such a vulgar job. He refuses to have sex with her because he wants his first time to be “special,” this shows just how innocent Holden is. Most teenagers would have not thought
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.
Throughout a child 's life, sooner or later they get thrown into the teenage experience which starts their transition from childhood to adulthood. In the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, the main character Holden Caulfield is stuck in his childhood and does not want to grow up. He is a very complex character and has an odd way of dealing with his emotions; he doesn 't. When Holden is faced with a problem, instead of facing it and slowly working his way through it, he tries to get rid of it entirely. He does not want to be thrown into the real world and will do anything to not be put in those “adult like situations”. I believe that Holden’s issues arose about the time when his younger brother Allie passed away due to leukemia when he was only eleven. 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.
Maturity comes through being an adult and growing up is all about becoming more mature. Throughout the book, Holden goes through numerous conflicts and problems. In the beginning of the book, Holden is gives information about himself. Holden’s personality shows that his age doesn’t determine how mature he is. He states “I was sixteen then, and I am seventeen now, and sometimes I act like I’m about thirteen” (Salinger 9). Holden knows that he can become more mature and have a better attitude but he just chooses to stay an immature teen. He acts like a thirteen year old because he choose to. He has the opportunity to act like his age. Another example of Holden acting immature is when Holden meets up his old school advisor from Whooton, Luce. He calls and asks
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.
Salinger uses the symbol of Allie's mitt to express the theme of innocence as demonstrated in a major symbol, big factor in Catcher in The Rye, and overall connection to the theme of the book.
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. Overall, he wants to believe he can protect everyone else’s innocence because he wasn’t able to protect his own
Adulthood is when we mature into a person that continues to live life in reality as we let our childhood and adolescence become a faint memory. The memories, however, taught us lessons of acceptance as we cannot always shape the future. Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye takes a journey through the rite of passage by experiencing the innocence of youth and the phoniness of adulthood.
The idea of having a character that struggles to find themselves is quite a common idea in many books. This is seen in the Catcher in the Rye where JD Salinger puts Holden the main character through different struggles throughout the book to finally realise what his purpose is and what he aims to be. There are many different situations that Holden is put through but they all aim to the same purpose, being a catcher in the rye. Two of the main struggles are his journey into adulthood and to retain his innocence. The second is how he is almost alienating himself from others and very rarely opens up to anybody, and his relationships with people are not great because he thinks of many of the people he meets are phony. These two struggles are what causes Holden to realise his purpose is being a catcher in the rye.
The reason that Holden Caulfield is always trying to stop kids from growing up in the first place is because he want’s to protect them, and shelter them from the bad things in the world. By the end of the novel Holden realizes that he can’t protect kids all the time or save their innocence. Holden comes right out and say’s that you can’t protect kids, or their innocence when Phoebe is riding the carousel toward the end of the book, Holden says “The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it's bad if you say anything to them". This quote is one reason that proves Holden was successful throughout his journey in the
Holden Caulfield, in the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, is an ideal transcendental hero. Though the question here is to what extent is Holden a transcendental hero. Holden’s way of being can be hard to understand, he has those “soft” moments where he seeks for his sister for comfort, or his red hunting hat, but most of all, a baseball glove that belonged to his younger brother, Allie who passed away. Other time, it’s the complete opposite, he goes for cigarettes, or alcohol. Another way that helps him with his moments, is going out into nature and relaxing. There is so much things that lead Holden to have a long extent of transcendentalism, but there is also things that pull him away from being a long extent in transcendentalism.
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
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.
J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye displays a true moral that though your actions may seem those of a developed character, the inspiration behind those actions might not be mature. Throughout the novel, Holden Caulfield, the protagonist, defies his youthful innocence by being expelled from school, smoking cigarettes, and being exposed to adultery like female escorts. Salinger includes a quote (originally by Wilhelm Stekel) said by Mr. Antolini, stating, “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” This very philosophical, yet simple quote provides a great explanation as to why Holden shouldn’t die trying to save children from losing their innocence, but rather to devote his time trying to keep children from turning into what Holden has become.