Essay, Research Paper: Catcher In The Rye

Literature: Catcher in The Rye

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The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger, is a display of characters and incidents
portrayed through the eyes of an adolscent. Holden Caulfield, the main character
has been revealed in the first person view in a unique narrative of a teenage
boy who forms a transition into adulthood. Holden perceives the world as an evil
and corrupt place where there is no purity and that individuals in the world
acquire a trait known as "phony." Throughout the novel, Holden
Caulfield refers to the conditions of the society he lives in and deals with his
internal affairs and his extrinsic circumstances. The setting of the book which
is varied, brings the reader to the conclusion that it takes place in a
psycotherapy session. Knowing this information, allows the reader to understand
thiat his story is being stated through Holden's mind, which is essential to
know due to the fact that Holden may not provide factual information based on
his observations and assumptions towards society. Though Holden opposes against
society's "phonies," he is in need of compassion and friendship. An
example of Holden's need for fellowship is when he says, "I sort of miss
everybody I told you about. Even old Stradlater and Ackley, for instance. I
think I miss even that goddam Maurice." Despite Holden's hatred towards
society, he can be considered sane for the reason that he does stand against the
false standards and hypocrisy society accepts. Although Holden would probably
like to accept the fact that the world is an easeful place, he cannot pretend
that his society is worthwhile. Throughout the book, Holden seemed to be lagged
behnd in his emotions and his reactions to others. Allie, who is Holden's
younger brother died of leukemia at a younger age and has seemed to have forged
a large mark in Holden's life emotionally. From the day that Allie died, it was
the beginning of Holden's rejection of society and the definite vision of Allie
destroyed. Holden wants to connect with Allie and does so by wearing on a red
hunting hat which is a connection to his brother's red hair and keeps him dry in
the storm. The cap allows him to feel ostracized from society and keeps Allie's
memory retained. Asecond form of Allie's connection to him is the catcher's
mitt, which is a baseball mitt and a symbol of the title known as the Cathcher
in the Rye. The catcher's mitt can signify that Allie is Holden's catcher,
keeping him safe. Though Holden looks back over the loss of his brother Allie,
it seems that Salinger has brought back the characteristics and qualities into a
sibling of Holden's known as Phoebe. Holden now knows that he must become the
"catcher in the rye." He feels that he has a responsibility upon
saving the children from falling off the cliff and into losing their innocence.
Holden wants to protect the vulnerable and from being corrupted by society as
they grow up. Holden views himself as vulnerable at times too, when he look at
the ducks and thinks about himself that he has no direction in life and that it
should remain constant. Though Holden appears to be attempting his unusual task
as being the "catcher in the rye," he understands that his dream is
unrealistic. When Holden is watching his sister, Phoebe, on the carrousel, he
understands accepts the reality of life. He observes Phoebe, on the carrousel
whoch is adulthood and considers the horse as faith, hope and love and finally
the gold ring which is the end of the cliff, to which the closer ypu get, the
closer you fall. According to the novel, I thought that the ending was ironic
because Caulfield wanted to be the catcher but he was the one really falling.
This is implied to when he feels like he's stepping into oblivion every time he
steps off of a curb near the end. His sister catches him symbolically by showing
him how how much she loved him when she shows up at the museum with her
suitcase. He knows that he cannot take her with him out West, but he cannot walk
away from her either. Eventually, Holden does go home. His lifestyle on the
streets have brought him dissatisfaction and admitting his dependence on his
family. Holden feels better about the outlook on life and also is optimistic
about the coming school year. In my theory, I feel that the catcher of the
ryewas Phoebe and that the person she caught was Holden.
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