The Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D. Salinger in 1951, is the story of an angst-ridden sixteen year old Holden Caulfield as he learns to deal with growing up. The story follows Holden through his three day experience through New York as he learns about the truth about innocence, sex, and mortality, making The Catcher in the Rye one of America’s most notable coming-of-age stories. One of the largest influences on Holden’s life was his younger brother Allie who died from leukemia at age eleven when Holden was thirteen. The death of Holden’s brother had a profound effect on Holden emotional state, which eventually caused his complete mental breakdown by the end of the novel.
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.”
Have you ever felt isolation? Like you didn’t belong somewhere and you were trying to find your place? In the novel The Catcher In The Rye Holden by J.D SALINGER Caufield struggled with this and as we go through the novel it explains step by step why he struggles to simply talk to other people. The story is about how this confused young boy doesn’t want to grow up due to the responsibilities as an adult, he just desires to be this fantasy he has always desired to be which is to help children remain their innocence and stop them from doing things that will make them develop into adults because then the children will remain happy forever with nothing to worry about.
The transition between childhood innocence and adulthood exists as a complex path, which often uncovers questions that cannot be answered. J.D. Salinger explores Holden’s transition into adult life and how he copes with modern society’s cruel and unforgiving face. In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, Holden’s traumatic experiences directly explains his immaturity and unhealthy obsession over the preservation of the fragile childhood state; although some instances highlighting Holden’s maturity may suggest otherwise, flashes of these instances do not outweigh his immature ideology and opinions. Holden’s dysfunctional family life stemming from the death of his brother Allie and his inferiority complex clearly explains Holden’s unhealthy obsession
Family isolation can cause depression and sadness for a teenager. In the novel Catcher in the Rye, the author makes the reader follow the main character, Holden Caulfield around New York. Holden has just gotten kicked out of another school and decides to go around New York without telling his parents. Over the course of his journey, he tries to find himself and where he is going in life. He starts to go downhill as is past starts to haunt him and he starts to think about the future.
In "Catcher in the Rye" the idea of being a catcher is based upon Holden’s complete misreading of a line in the poem "Comin ' Thro ' the Rye," by Robert Burns, of which Holden hears a young boy singing. The young boy instead substitutes the line "When a body catch a body, comin ' thro ' the rye" for "When a body meet a body, comin ' thro ' the rye. " Holden has a dream in which children play a game in a field of rye near a cliff, it being his role to protect the children by catching anyone who gets close to going over the edge. Symbolically a rescuer of children, a catcher is such a job he says would make him truly happy. As Holden receives guidance, and direction from various characters throughout the novel, one may argue that multiple characters could fit Holden’s description of a catcher.
Holden wants to protect people’s innocence which cause to reflect about his innocence time and how they have changed. When Holden was younger he would visit the Museum of Natural History almost every Saturday. The charter Holden believed “the best thing, though in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was,” (Salinger 135). Holden thinks about this because he realizes that people and himself are always changing, but things around him necessarily aren’t changing. When people start to change, their innocence will slowly go away because they are growing up.
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.”
The unavoidable transition from childhood to adulthood is often a lonely and difficult time for adolescents. Many teenagers struggle with the balance between being a child, and becoming an adult. In J.D. Salinger 's The Catcher in the Rye, the use of setting reflects Holden’s feelings about the transition from childhood to adulthood. This transition is necessary to becoming a functioning member in society. Throughout the book, Holden explores the realities of adulthood and deals with the challenges that come along with the transition from childhood.
Elizabeth Ross, a Swiss-American author wrote, “The most beautiful we've known are those who have known defeat, struggles, loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” In order to survive in the world we must realize that growing up comes with having to face your fears. The protagonists in John Knowles, Elie Wiesel, and J.D. Salinger books either fear losing their identity to cruelty, change, or their best friend. These fears tend to be the evil that the characters live with and shape their lives. What they do not get is that every adolescent endures evil; how they handle this will cause them to mature.
Jessica Casimiro October 30, 2015 English 3/PayLea Short Story Essay Patrick Rothfuss once claimed, “The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.” The novel Catcher in the Rye focuses on Holden Caulfield, an angst-ridden teen conflicted between remaining in a state of prolonged innocence or transitioning into the world of adulthood, thus facing the corruption and phoniness that it correlates with. Through Holden’s dynamic character, J.D Salinger depicts how innocence is slowly lost when exposed to adulthood. Reluctant to the idea of growing up, Holden strives to protect the innocence of himself and the ones’ around him. Holden reminisces about the Natural Museum of History, a place he enjoyed going
As a soldier who fought in World War II, J.D. Salinger witnessed his fellow comrades' and friends' youthful lives dwindle in the wake of battle. Distraught and pained by their shortened adolescent years, J.D. Salinger developed Holden Caulfield, the main character of his classic American novel, Catcher in The Rye, to mirror the pain he endured and his desire to sustain his generations youthfulness. Salinger uses Holden's loss of youth due to his brother's death, (in order) to drive the loss of adolescence Salinger encountered during the World War II. Salinger takes us through Holden's fit of rage, preempted by his brothers decease, in which he breaks every window in his garage, "I slept in the garage the night he died, and broke all the windows with my fist..." Salinger uses the broken windows as a symbol to exhibit the loss of Holden's innocence and protection from the outside world.