J.D. Salinger fully utilizes the literary device of symbolism in characterizing Holden Caulfield in the novel, Catcher in the Rye. Whether through a red hunting hat symbolizing a desire for individuality or ducks representing an escape from life’s challenges, Salinger conveys Holden’s struggles deftly, his traits elegantly, and his character development insightfully.
In The Catcher in the Rye, it is observed that the novel is about grief. There are 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and finally acceptance. The Catcher in the Rye shows how Holden goes through the grieving process. By the end of the novel it shows how Holden has reached closure or a way to let go.
Throughout the majority of the Catcher in the Rye J.D Salinger employs several different symbols that define Holden's personality. One particular object that set him apart from everyone else was his red hunting hat. It is brought up on several different occasions in the book and is often described as an article that reminds him of his brother Allie and sister Phoebe. Salinger furthermore develops the red hunting hat into a symbol by referring to it several times as Holden's own form of uniqueness, aiding in the theme of “ protection of the innocence” and the resistance of maturity.
J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is considered a coming of age novel. Throughout the novel, Holden, a confused teenage boy, matures and understands more about himself. Salinger conveys Holden’s increasing levels of maturity by using a variety of symbols. The ducks in central park, the red hunting hat, and the carousel ring symbolize the the development of Holden’s adulthood.
In the novel The Catcher in the Rye J.D Salinger writes about a teenager struggling to find his place within the existence of the reality of others. Salinger creates shocking events that lay out the foundation of the the main character Holden Caulfield’s life in the novel. Salinger uses Holden’s characteristics throughout the novel such as Holden’s stubbornness to establish a much bigger theme in the book along with many other symbols.
Holden, the protagonist of the Catcher in the Rye often makes decisions under the influence of his problematic emotions and caught himself into many rough and self-harming situations. In the first place, Holden made self-harming decisions under the emotion of anger and sadness when his brother passed away "I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it (21)." Holden is making idiotic decisions under the influence of anger and sadness and caused himself a lifelong injury. Similarly, later in the Catcher in the Rye Holden again makes another decision under his emotion of jealousy about Stradlater 's date with Jane. Holden relentlessly insulted Stradlater, driving him crazy until
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
The transition from childhood to adulthood labeled, “growing up” is a rite of passage endured by all humans. During this process, adulthood seems inviting and free, but only when we become members of the adult world, can the blissful innocence and youth of our childhood be appreciated and missed. The novel, Catcher in the Rye, by J.D Salinger explores the captivations of youth and innocence experienced in adolescence. He uses literary devices of repetition and symbolism to illustrate this point.
In J.D Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, the protagonist Holden Caulfield portrays the role of a teenage boy that struggles to come in terms with the reality of growing up. As he goes around New York searching for the answers to his problems, he encounters various people that either add to his struggles or help him. It is seen, though, that most of those he encounters add to his complexity with the adult world. This aids him in alienating himself to protect what childhood innocence he has left. Out of those he meets, the ones that had him distance himself most are Sally Hayes, a girl that Holden dates from time to time, and Mr. Antolini, one of Holden’s former teachers. Through the portrayal of the secondary characters Sally Hayes and
Holden Caulfield, the main protagonist in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, embodies the classic teenager in the process of discovering himself, and how the world works. But, regardless of Holden 's rich, prep school lifestyle, the series of events that have mapped out his life up to this point have utterly affected his emotional well being and perception of the world. Many traumatic events such as the death of holds brother Allie, the death of a class mate, and countless numbers of awkward incidents with adults have all added up to affects Holden 's well-being and detach him from reality.
Why is it that Holden is more tolerant and accepting of Spencer and his wife compared to other people?
In the novel “The Catcher in the Rye”, the protagonist Holden Caulfield demonstrates his unusual behaviour. The narrator introduces the story of an emotionally damaged teenager whose suspicions and personal issues prevent him from being “normal” in a society full of phonies that he does not seem to get along with. It becomes clear that Holden has clouded judgement as he rides an emotional rollercoaster of mood swings with the people he likes, and dislikes. Therefore, it becomes obvious that some of his personal flaws include his distrust, depression, and unreasonable attitudes and thoughts are based on his underlying emotional problems. Holden Caulfield has a variety psychological problems, such as his skepticism, depressive behaviour, and
The novel “The Catcher in the Rye” was about the journey of a adolescent boy finding his way to adulthood. In the book Holden Caulfield was unsuccessful in finding his way to adulthood. Holden’s attitude in the novel throughout his journey was very immature. He also can't accept the fact that innocence can’t be forever protected. Lastly, Holden calls everyone a phony when in reality he is the real phony. Although others may say that Holden was successful on his journey, saying that he grew up he. Holden showed lots of immaturity throughout the novel and was the biggest phony of all..
It is hard to progress and mature but it is a necessary part of life, that in turn helps a person get through life and evolve into a new and better person. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist, in JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye transforms into a more mature person but in the processes starts to spiral out of control.
From the outset, I have to say that “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger has been one of the most important and influential pieces of literature I have ever read. At its core, the book is a superb coming of age novel which discusses several extremely powerful themes such as the difficulties of growing up, teenage angst and alienation and the superficiality, hypocrisy and pretension of the adult world. These themes resonated deeply with me and were portrayed excellently through the use of powerful symbolism and the creation of highly relatable and likable characters. One such character is Holden Caulfield whom the story both revolves around and is narrated by.