Social Criticisms Of Catcher In The Rye

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In The Catcher in the Rye, there is a teenage boy named Holden who is dealing with the ups and downs of his life. He leaves his school and stays in New York before going home, and getting help for his depression. Throughout the entire novel, the author, J.D. Salinger, makes social criticisms of American society through Holden’s feelings and speech. In Salinger, a documentary about the author of The Catcher of the Rye, J.D. Salinger is quoted saying that he is Holden. This leads us to believe that Salinger’s life can be directly connected to Holden’s life. J.D Salinger’s life is reflected through social criticisms of religion and the military in The Catcher in the Rye.
Religion is criticized many times throughout The Catcher in the Rye. In chapter 14, Holden is so
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He wants to feel a connection with God. However, he acknowledges that he can’t really pray because he doesn’t believe in any religion. Holden says, “If you want to know the truth, I can't even stand ministers. [...] I don't see why the hell they can't talk in their natural voice. They sound so phony when they talk,” (Salinger 100). This shows how Holden is associating religion with phoniness. He doesn’t think that religion can be authentic, just related to faith. Holden wants that faith and connection, which he demonstrates by saying that he wants to pray, just a page before. However, the idea of an organized religion seems fake to Holden. I think that this is because of traditions behind these religions which Holden doesn’t feel connected with. Also, Holden likes simplicity. He just wants a faith and connection, uninterrupted by things he considers trivial. At many other points throughout The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger criticizes religion. He talks about how religions, in this case Catholicism, always want to know if you are part of their
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