The Catcher In The Rye Analysis

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People have to grow up eventually. It is not a choice, but a certainty. The protagonist of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, struggles to accept this fact. He agonizes over the loss of his innocence. He is conflicted. On one side, he does not want to grow up and see the deceitful reality. On the other side, he wants to mature as a member of society. He cannot do either of these things because of his internal battle. The novel can be considered a Bildungsroman, a coming-of-age novel where the protagonist matures Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye expresses the hardships of growing up through the symbolism of Jane Gallagher, Allie’s baseball glove and the Catcher in the Rye poem. Holden Caulfield calls many people on the phone throughout the course of the novel, but he repeatedly refuses to call Jane Gallagher. Jane is a childhood friend he used to spend time with. Years have passed since they last met, but he still cherishes the memories they had together. Jane is his ideal partner. He sees her as pure. “You don’t always have to get too sexy to know a girl,” he says. Holden said “You never even worried, with Jane [...] All you knew was, you were happy. You really were.” (79) Years later, Holden hears that his roommate, Stradlater, has a date with her. He wants to speak to her, but he can’t. When Stradlater asks why not, Holden says, “I’m not in the mood right now.” (33) He repeatedly uses this excuse and many others to avoid calling Jane.

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