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Literary Analysis Essay On Catcher In The Rye

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In the book Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield states that he wants to be a catcher in a field of rye. Holden wants to give kids the opportunity to stay innocent. He wants to give them the opportunity to be caught, to be saved from all the responsibilities that one acquires when becoming an adult. He wants to catch them and push them back into their youth, back to where they had someone to talk to, and when they had friends that they could talk to and have fun with. In Holden’s life, he has suffered an immense loss, the loss of his little brother Allie. This loss tears Holden apart. He doesn’t know what to do with himself so he goes and breaks all the windows in the garage. He suffers an injury while breaking these windows,…show more content…
Holden thinks that most everything is about him in a childish sense. When he sees vulgar words written on walls, he believes that they are aimed at him somehow and thinks that the entire adult world doesn’t accept him. The F you written on the wall is a statement made more towards society and not to one specific person, especially Holden. However, he takes this “F you” very personally and lets it affect his behavior. He backs away from the adult life and thinks about the amazing relationships he has when he was a child. Nostalgia sets in and he starts to fantasize about how he can save others from making this terrible mistake. He first experiences this fantasy when he hears a boy singing a song based on the poem "Comin Thro the Rye" by Robert Burns. He mishears the words to the song as “If a body catch a body coming through the rye.” The actual words are, “If a body meet a body coming through the rye.” Holden fantasized that he is in a field of rye with a cliff on one side. Children are frolicing in the field of rye. Holden is standing by this cliff and catches all the children that run out of the rye and almost fall off the cliff. "’I thought it was 'If a body catch a body,’ I said. ‘Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around--nobody big, I mean--except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff--I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them,” (Salinger 224-225). Holden finds comfort in this fantasy because he is saving children from having to encounter adult life. Holden cannot figure out adult relationships and wants to protect childhood relationships because these are the
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