Throughout the novel, Holden has a difficult teenage life, he is not responsible and can not face consequences that follow his irresponsibility. Holden can not let go of his childhood, and he has a tough time because he has to behave like an adult, now that he is 16. Holden is obsessed with his dead brother Allie, and his younger sister Phoebe because they are better than he is.
In The Catcher In the Rye, J.D. Salinger explores the transition from youth to adulthood through Holden. Holden desperately wants to maintain the positive aspects of childhood while obtaining the benefits given to adults. Without strong family or another adult support system to guide him, Holden’s obsessions and deficiencies dominate him. In the end, the reader is left with the impression that Holden will not have a successful exit from his teenage years. In fact, his alienation from everyone around him is the main reason his decline is both dramatic and inevitable. Thus, the formation of connections to others during teenage years are imperative to healthy mental growth, as shown by Holden
After dropping off a message to Phoebe at her school, Holden thinks to himself, “You can’t rub out even half the ‘Fuck you’ signs in the world. It’s impossible” (262). Unfortunately, in this moment, Holden realizes that he cannot save every child from adulthood. He cannot save them from losing that sparkle in their eye. The best thing he can do for them is to meet them or help them when they need it which is what he does for Jane. Throughout Holden’s journey, Phoebe seems to be one of his only supporters that loves him unconditionally. Phoebe provides Holden a safe space where he can be himself and she will love him no matter what. He knows that all she wants for him is to be happy which lets him almost idolize her. As a person, Holden’s main goal is to save children from adulthood where they could lose their innocence. In children and those nuns, he sees qualities that he has lost and he admires them most for being able to retain them. He sees pure people that are able to reject the corruption of the world and look at the world as if it and the people are perfect. Holden grows to comprehend the harshness of reality even with noble motives, but never loses sight of what is important to
At the end of the book, Holden goes to his little sister Phoebe for acceptance. She is one of the only people in his life that accepts him for who he is. Although he had been kicked out of school again, Phoebe just wants to spend time with her brother. Because she accepts him, he decides to stay in New York with his family, and the experience makes him act like an adult. Once he was with her he felt “so damn happy all of a sudden”(Salinger 233). Even though she is not a child anymore, she still has the innocence that Holden is searching
He loves the innocence that children have and wants to protect that as much as he can. He sees how the world is full of phonies, lies, and people who care more about objects than people, and he wants to protect the children from ever losing their innocence. He doesn't like his older brother D.B. very much, calling him a phony at times, but he really likes his little sister Phoebe. He really wants to protect her innocence and keep her from becoming a phony for as long as he can. In addition, Holden has a younger brother, Allie, who died when he was very young and in Holden's mind Allie will stay innocent forever. It's why holden likes his little brother Allie so much, even though he isn't alive anymore. Another example of how holden tries to protect the innocence of children is when he sees the words “F**K YOU” written on the wall of phoebe's school bathroom. Holden states, “I kept picturing myself catching him at it, and how I’d smash his head on the stone steps till he was good and goddam dead and bloody.” (117) Holden shows here how he would literally kill someone to protect the kids from losing their innocence. Holden just wants to protect kids from every becoming obsessed with materialistic things and becoming phonies, he just wants to save them from the loss of their
Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual”. In the book Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield’s lies become habitual throughout the book. Holden is a sixteen-year-old boy, who has been kicked out of several schools including, most recently, Pencey Prep. Holden’s younger brother, Allie, died when Holden was only thirteen and his older brother is too busy working for Hollywood to care about Holden. Although his mother cares immensely for him, Holden saddens her by failing academically. The only motivator that Holden has to continue living is his younger sister, Phoebe, who is extraordinarily intelligent for her age. After he gets kicked out of Pencey, Holden is lost in life. He speaks to many people, seeking advice and comfort, but they are not able to help him find a human connection. Holden’s depression increases throughout the novel, almost to the point of suicide. He criticizes many people and ideas, labeling them as ‘phony’. Holden lies as a result of his depression, in order to hide the fact that he’s lonely and bored with his life, to divert any questions which he believes are too personal, and to create his own reality. In this way, Salinger illustrates how, during difficult times, people resort to lying as a coping mechanism.
Today we are dealing with Holden Caulfield, a 17 year old student who attends Pencey Prep in New York City. Holden is maturing quickly and has happened to grow six and a half inches in the past year. He has grey hair at the age of seventeen and is very skinny for his age. Holden’s family consists of his mom and dad, his brother D.B, and his sister Phoebe. Holden did have another brother, Allie, but he passed away when Holden was thirteen years old. Holden does not communicate with D.B often but they keep in touch once in awhile. On the other hand, Holden cares for and loves Phoebe with his whole heart; he would never let anything happen to her and he continues to worry about her and care for her. Holden is very passionate about his family but
Throughout the passage, Holden reiterates memories of Phoebe's past and the “prettiness” that she exudes. Both of which, reveal Holden’s fear of growing up and becoming an adult. Additionally, Salinger’s symbolic use of Phoebe's red hair and her impulsive behavior reveal Holden’s longing for the innocence and carefree life that is enjoyed by his younger sister. Holden’s preoccupation with Phoebe as a child and his dismissiveness of qualities that are like an adult reveals his fear of letting go of youth and a life without responsibility that comes with being a
Throughout “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D Salinger, Holden Caulfield shows great difficulty making long and meaningful connections with other people. Holden believes he is the normal one but it is actually the other way around. He holds on to a deep emotional road block of the death of his innocent brother Allie. Holden keeps this dragging around with him which causes him to veer from connecting and having a long term relationship with others. Holden is unaware of his problem. When people try to help him he tells them there is nothing wrong with him. Holden wonders why he cannot connect with others. He blames it on other people when the source of his problems is himself. Holden’s past holds him back from connecting with others, but his fear of letting go of his past has him limited and scarred from making new relationships and connections.
Holden is a very introverted character who hesitates throughout the book to share information about his life . J.D Salinger makes sure to portray Holden that way to
Holden must take what he has learned to make comprehensive changes in his life so he can succeed. Holden realizes he is an adult and no longer should participate in activities for children. “Go ahead, then–I’ll be on the bench ”(Salinger 211). The actualization formed here demonstrates how Holden has made an impact while trying to transition into adulthood. While some critics, such as Grace Gianni, suggest that Holden hasn’t made any progress in becoming an adult; reiterating pessimistic points of views on phonies without taking into consideration his actions (Goodreads). I disagree since Grace didn’t consider the pivotal stage of Holden eager to do better in school. While I will admit, Holden struggles to show progress because he displays
Adulthood is when we mature into a person that continues to live life in reality as we let our childhood and adolescence become a faint memory. The memories, however, taught us lessons of acceptance as we cannot always shape the future. Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye takes a journey through the rite of passage by experiencing the innocence of youth and the phoniness of adulthood.
In the 1950’s the American economy was booming due to the conclusion of World War II. Economic prosperity transformed family life and people put more emphasis on the individual. Television programs represented how people should live the ideal life. With many changes in culture people began to have a different perspective on life. In the 1998 film, “Pleasantville” directed by Gary Ross and the novel, “The Catcher in the Rye” written by J.D. Salinger both depict teenage culture of the 1950s. These works decribe stories of rebellious tennagers and reveal that in order for a person to identify their true-self, he/she must go through a series of rebellious acts.
Throughout one’s life it becomes evident very early on, that “nobody's perfect”. No matter the circumstances one is bound to need some sort of mischief in their life. This statement is also true for the following texts, whether it’s the subtlety of Catchers main character, Holden Caulfield or the obvious scheming ways of Odysseus in The Odyssey, tricksters play a crucial role in the plotline of the texts. However, being a trickster is not always considered to be a bad thing. It all depends on the intentions it is based upon and the way one goes about carrying it out. If both of those things correspond with inner kindness or positivity it is likely that the act will be perceived much better with less punishment also. The role of trickster characters throughout
In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger portrays a fascinating juvenile misfit character extensively named Holden Caulfield. Holden goes to school at the age of sixteen and is said to be a misfit in society. However, even though society is corrupt in some ways, Holden Caulfield is a misfit no matter if people say he is misunderstood in the eyes of society.