Essay, Research Paper: Catcher In The Rye

Literature: Catcher in The Rye

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In the book, Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caufield, the main
character is a negatively charged person, doesn't want himself or others around
him to grow up, and suffers from depression because of his brothers death. This
is obviously Holden's way of alienating the entire world and delaying the
consequences of facing reality. Alienation is a big theme in Catcher In The Rye,
and something that Holden depends on most often. Holden Caufield is a negatively
charged character as expressed on the first page of the book before Holden tells
his opinion about his childhood. He says, "If you really want to hear about
it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what
my lousy childhood was like..." (Pg. 1) Holden shows here that he was
negative and depressed even in his childhood years which is mainly due to his
brother, Allie's death. Holden's alienation toward the world is what causes
these unwanted character traits of Holden's. Holden is also a hostile character
who attributes his negativity to block out others around him, and to delay the
fact that he indeed will have to face reality sometime. Holden's pattern of
speech, the constant expression of negativity, is a character trait Holden
possesses that shows the inner pain he feels. Holden truly shows that he does
not want to grow up and he does not want other children to grow up either.
Holden believes that all adults are phonies, like Principal Thurmer. Holden
hates phonies and that's why he doesn't want children to grow up, do they won't
become phonies. Holden's hatred towards adults is due to his brother's death.
Holden probably somewhat blames his parents for not stopping his younger
brother's death. Holden alienated phonies or adults because of this. Holden
believes that he cannot depend on adults because they are phonies like Principal
Thurmer. Holden's inability to accept growing up causes much depression for
Holden and makes Holden suicidal. At what time, Holden does in fact feel
suicidal. "...what I really felt like, though, was committing
suicide." This shows that Holden has not really accepted the fact that
everyone has to grow up sometime no matter how much u don't want to because no
one can stay a child forever. Holden suffers from depression due to his brother,
Allie's death. This is mainly because lack of closure of his brother's death.
There is one moment when Holden expresses how he talks out loud to Allie, even
though he is dead. "What I did, I started talking out loud to Allie. I do
that sometimes when I get very depressed." This portrays sadness to the
point that Holden needs closure on his brother's death so bad that the lack of
closure may even be leading to clinic depression or slight insanity on top of
his being suicidal. Holden probably in some way blames himself for his brother's
death due to not always letting Allie play with him when they were little.
Holden feels like committing suicide at one time which shows the true depth of
Holden's depression. Holden's deep depression comes from his alienation towards
people in general, the way he refuses to let others deep in his heart and his
inability to accept certain things such as his brother's death. Holden badly
needs closure on his brother's death so he can rid himself of his deep
depression and go on to inevitably grow up like the rest of the world. In
conclusion, Holden is a negative character, had yet to realize that everyone has
to grow up sometime, and suffers from possible clinic depression due to lack of
closure on his brother's death. Holden's alienation towards the world is clearly
what brings on this rejective personality of Holden's. Another aspect of Holden
that drives this personality of his is his estrangement towards facing reality.
This can most likely be compared to many people in the real world which is just
one of the reasons why Catcher In The Rye, is such a wonderful book. Until
people like Holden realize that growing up is an inevitable action in one's life
and that facing reality is a must to survive life, then those people will be
stuck in the world of untruth where no person can be successful and where
destinies cannot be pursued until the realization that these are just stages in
life that must be completed is met.

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