Catcher In The Rye

Catcher In The Rye 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.

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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.

Catcher In The Rye

The Catcher in The Rye
Many people find that their dreams are unreachable. Holden Caulfield realizes this in J.D. Salingers The Catcher in the Rye. As Holden tells his story, he recounts the events since leaving the Pencey School to his psychiatrist. At first, Holden sounds like a typical, misguided teenager, rebellious towards his parents, angry with his teachers, and flunking out of school. However, as his story progresses, it becomes clear that Holden is indeed motivated, just not academically. He has a purpose: to protect the young and innocent minds of young children from the horrors of adult society. He hopes to freeze the children in time, as wax figures are frozen in a museum. After interacting with Phoebe, his younger sister, Holden realizes that this goal is quite unachievable. Holden wants to be the Catcher in the Rye, then realizes it is an unreachable ideal.
Holden begins his story misguided and without direction. After flunking out of the Pencey School, Holden decides to leave early. Before he leaves, though, he visits his teacher, Mr. Spencer. Mr. Spencer and Holden talk about his direction in life: Do you feel absolutely no concern for your future, boy? 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). After leaving Pencey, he checks into a hotel where he invites a prostitute up to his room. He gets cold feet and decides not to have intercourse with her, though. Later, Holden decides to take his old girlfriend, Sally Hayes, to the theater. After taking her to the theater, Holden formulates a crazy plan which entails running away with Sally, getting married, and growing old together. Sally thinks that he is crazy, and she decides to go home. During his stay away from home, Holden drinks and smokes, showing even more misdirection. However, when Holden returns home and talks to his sister, Phoebe, his direction becomes clear.
Holden wants to be the Catcher in the Rye to protect children from the world in which he is forced to live. While talking with Phoebe, she asks Holden what he would like to be. He responds saying:
Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobodys around–nobody big, I mean–except me. And Im standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff–I mean if theyre running and they dont look where theyre going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. Thats all Id do all day. Id just be the catcher in the rye and all. (173)
Holden wants to protect the innocence of his sister and every other innocent child in the world. Before Holden meets Sally for their date, he stops in front of the Museum of Natural History and begins to reminisce. He thinks about the way he visited the museum when he was younger. He also tells that every time one visits the museum, he is changed in some way, but the figures in the exhibits always stay the same. He wants to be able to preserve some things in the glass: Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone, (122). Holden wants the innocence of children to be frozen behind that glass. When he visits Phoebes school to give her a note, Holden notices two instances of graffiti on the walls. He succeeds in rubbing one of them off cannot rub off the other. It depresses Holden to think that someday this kind of graffiti will spoil his sister Phoebe and all of her companions. Up to this point, keeping young children from his plight is Holdens sole motive. He soon realizes that this is impossible.
Holden sees that becoming the Catcher in the Rye is an unattainable ideal. When he meets Phoebe during her lunch break at school, he has made up his mind to leave and hitchhike out west. Phoebe knows this and asks if she can come along. This overwhelms Holden, and he decides not to leave. Instead, he decides to take her to the zoo and to the carousel. Phoebe gets on the carousel and finds her favorite horse. When the carousel starts Holden notices Phoebe trying to grab for the golden ring. He knows this is dangerous but must let Phoebe do it: All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid shed fall off the goddam horse, but I didnt say anything or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but its bad if you say anything to them, (211). He understands that sometimes children must learn things the hard way. As he sees Phoebe riding the carousel he begins to cry. He sees perfection in that moment, and he knows that she will soon change as the world influences her. Holden finally realizes that he will not be able to protect his sister or anyone from falling into the adult world.
Holden transforms from a dreamy idealist into a down-to-earth existentialist. When he understands that his dream is far from possible, he has to start over. Throughout his story he talks about people being phonies, which suggests that he has some ideal to which he compares people. He tells his psychiatrist that he does not know what will happen in the future: A lot of people, especially this one psychoanalyst guy they have here, keeps asking me if Im going to apply myself when I go back to school next September. Its such a stupid question, in my opinion. I mean how do you know what youre going to do till you do it? (213). Holden now knows that he must live life by the moment and not with quixotic ideals.

Catcher in the Rye

“The Member Of The Wedding” and “The Catcher The Rye” are both similar novels in the way adolescents want to belong to a group of people but there is one major difference. Frankie is looking to grow up so that she can fit in with the people around her while Holden wants to avoid adulthood completely as he sees the adult world as being false and corruptible.
In “Member Of The Wedding Frankie feels like she doesn’t fit in to a child’s world. This is due to a number of reasons. She wishes now to belong to a more adult society.

Frankie feels alienated from the rest of her friends. When they play underneath the arbour Frankie doesn’t “fit” because she is too tall. She resents this and sees her friends as “ugly screaming kids”. Frankie attempts to befriend the older girls but they say she “smells” and when they talk about sex Frankie doesn’t understand referring to this as “nasty lies”. Here we see Frankie excluded from the adult world that she desires to belong to.

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Frankie also feels excluded from her family. Her father won’t allow her to sleep in the same bed as him anymore. He says that she is “too big” now. He is rarely at home and when he is he hardly speaks to Frankie. She attempts to converse with him but he just “grunts” at her. Eventually when he does talk to her he doesn’t say much. After the wedding he shows a lack of understanding towards his daughter. She needs him but he tells her to wait until they are at home because then he will punish her for her behaviour. Berenice is the mother figure in her life but she returns to her own home and family in the evening. She feels excluded from Jarvis and Janice too because when they arrive home for a few days they invite Frankie’s father but not her. She feels this isn’t very fair as she is also part of the family. This heightens Frankies isolation and also heightens her desire to belong to a group.

Frankie wants to “belong” to the navy and then decides to give blood to the Red Cross. She is refused on both accounts because she is too young. She thinks the “freaks” and “criminals” are trying to make eye contact with her so she can join their group but Frankie does not want that. These are images of isolation. She also tries to form a group with the soldier. We know she is not ready for adulthood as she is not mature enough when she says that he was talking “double talk”.
Frankie decides to join the wedding group with Jarvis and Janice. She even changes her name to F.Jasmine to make it similar to their names. She now starts to feel a connection with humanity. The feelings of alienation melt away but return after the wedding. She quickly realises that she is not a member of anything and feels crushed.

We see that the adult world excludes Frankie time and time again. The final straw is after the wedding. She realises that she was being foolish and develops a degree of insensitivity. She now has a new friend – Mary. They have many interests in common such as poetry and art. She now forms her own club and learns to exclude people like Bernice and feels like she is beginning to belong. If this degree of insensitivity is developed further Frankie will have no problems joining adulthood
In the novel “The Catcher In The Rye” Holden Caulfield has the desire to belong to childhood. He sees the adults in this world as “phony” and therefore does not want to turn in to one. Holden has many options to deal with this problem.

One option would be for him to give in and step in to adulthood and live the life of a “phony”. He doesn’t really see himself doing this however as it would be going against what he believed in. Another option for him would be to become an adult and devise some career to be a “catcher in the rye”. He could also reject the world completely and become a monk. He dismisses this idea, as he does not look on religion too favourably. Death and suicide is his main option. It hovers over him all the time. If he were to die he would never become an adult and therefore stay as an eternal child. This is what happened to his brother Allie, who died from leukemia. He has been freeze framed forever. He will always be a child because death prevented him from falling over the cliff to adulthood. At Elkton Hills, Holden’s old school James Castle took the option of suicide when he threw himself out of a window after a boy had fought with him. Holden was close to committing suicide himself to get away from it all after his confrontation with Maurice but decided against it because of all the people that would be watching him and all the commotion it would cause. “I didn’t want a bunch of rubbernecks looking at me when I was all glory”.

The main reason Holden does not want to have sex is because losing his virginity will have meant that he has left his childhood and moved in to adulthood. This is the reason why he is so upset after Stradlater told him that he “made time with” Jane Gallagher. If this is true then he has not just lost Jane to Stradlater but to adulthood.
It is no surprise that the people Holden likes are the children mentioned in the novel. He has a great admiration for Allie and also mentions his fondness of James Castle whom he hardly knew. This is because they will always be children, as they never made it to adulthood. Holden is also extremely fond of his sister Phoebe. When Holden sees her sleeping he remarks that she like all children “look all right” sleeping while adults “look lousy when they’re asleep”. Apart from Phoebe Jane is the only living person he had a good relationship with but he is afraid to get in contact with her now, as their relationship cannot be from one child to another anymore. Despite not making the leap in to adulthood himself, he is afraid that she has after her relationship with Stradlater. Of the adults, Holden looked on Mr. Antillini as one of the better ones. Mr. Antillini is friendly and understanding in relation to his views and gives him good advice. He becomes a role model and gives belief to Holden that there is goodness in the adult world. However this hope is all spoiled when Holden is woken with Mr. Antillini rubbing him on his head. Holden believes that he was trying to exploit him. In his eyes the man he believed to be the catcher in the rye turns out to be a phony like every other adult.

There are many symbols and metaphors in the novel, which Holden relates to childhood. He sees that he is changing and compares that to the museum that has stayed the same over the years. He wants things to be eternally fixed, like the statues of Indians and Eskimos in the museum. The pond is a metaphor of where Holden is in his life. It is “partly frozen and partly not frozen”, like Holden who is in a transitional stage. He is not a child anymore but is not quite an adult either.

Holden is convinced that somewhere in society there is some good. He has hope that good kids can grow up and become good adults too. It is this search for goodness and incorruption, which makes the novel. He looks for a role model to become a catcher in the rye before children fall over the cliff in to crazy adulthood but needs somebody to catch him first. The novel ends sadly with Holden having a nervous breakdown as he fails to find any goodness in the world and is unable to take that step in to adulthood.

Both Holden and Frankie achieve their desire to belong with varying success. Frankie seems like she is beginning to belong to a more adult world as she is maturing and will eventually make the step to adulthood. Holdens task differs in that he is trying to avoid the inevitability of adulthood which we must all face up to.

Catcher In The Rye

Catcher In The Rye The Catcher in the Rye is about a man named Holden Caulfield, who is narrating the story. Holden is in a psychiatric hospital in California, where at the given moment he was spending his time. He then had a flashback of when he was a young man at the age of sixteen. The story starts off at Pencey Prep, Holden’s present school at which he was flunking out of. Holden had only a few more days before his expulsion from Pencey, so he had been paying his final dues to his admired instructors, such as Mr.

Spencer, Holdens elderly History teacher. After spending some bothersome hours with Mr. Spencer, Holden returned to his room in Ossenburger Memorial Hall. There he was visited by Robert Ackley whom he disliked with a great passion, however he still had a conversation with him about school matters. While having an unpleasant discussion with Ackley, the conversation was then soon interrupted by Ward Stradlater, Holdens roommate. Stradlater notified Holden that he was going on a date with Jane Gallagher that night, an old girlfriend of Holdens. Holden had agreed to write a paper for Stradlater while he was on the date.

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After eating dinner, Holden began to write the paper and while doing so, became immersed in old memories of his brother Allie whom he loved dearly, but sadly had passed away. When Stradlater had arrived back at the dorm, Holden interrogated him about the date he had with Jane hoping that Stradlater and Jane did not have a sexual interlude with each other. Stradlater was upset by Holdens line of questioning and the two boys ended up in a confrontation and physical fight together. Holden lost the altercation trying to protect his old girlfriend. After the fight that Holden had with Stradlater, he attempted, without success, to befriend Ackley, for he didnt want to leave Pency Prep without a friend. However it seemed that Ackley was neither interested nor concerned about the fight that Page 2 the two roommates had together.

Inevitably, Holden decided to leave Pencey early and stay in New York until the day that he intended to arrive at home had approached. On the train ride to New York Holden met a mother of student that attended Pencey. While he had been maintaining a nice conversation with the woman, Holden soon had found him self lying about his self and the womans son just so he could seem to be gregarious and benevolent, meantime he was snickering at him self that he was being the phony that he had always rejected and found to be repulsive. After he had reached his destination at the New York Penn Station, Holden had contemplated on calling someone, but then had determined that it was too late. Holden then took a taxi to an older hotel in which he received a rather crummy room. Once in his room, he called a girl by the name of Faith Cavendish.

He was given her phone number, and when in conversation with her, he again seemed to be phony, acting suave and sophisticated, as he had done with the woman on the train. While sitting wide awake late on a Saturday night, in his room, Holden had a long divagation whether or not to call Phoebe, his little sister for whom he had high respect for and also wanted to go see. Because he is very much astir at the moment, and not at all drowsy, Holden went down the Lavender Room, a club at the hotel. When entering the club, Holden was put at a deficient table and is not even able to order a drink. He ended up sitting with three women who were secretaries from Seattle Washington . Holden bought drinks and danced with the girls, although after the whole evening they ended up leaving him with the check, without so much as a thank you. Holden then went to the lobby of the hotel and for a while thought about Jane Gallagher and a summer that the two of them had spent together.

After being confused and disturbed about Jane, him and Stradlater, Holden decided to go to another night club in Greenwich Village. It was a club that his older brother, D.B., had taken him. D.B. was in California being a prostitute. When he came to the club he met a girl named Lillian Simmons, who had in fact dated Page 3 D.B.

Holden also considered that girl to be a phony and an imbecile, like most of the world. He left the club and walked back to the hotel in the exquisite night atmosphere. On the way up the elevator, back to his room in the hotel, Holden was set up with a prostitute by Maurice the elevator man. When the prostitute arrived at Holdens room, Holden become too apprehensive and embarrassed about the situation. Once she was there though Holden changed his mind and wanted to just converse with the prostitute who didn’t know what to do. She ended up leaving after an argument over the money that was to be paid for her service.

Holden did not pay her the rest of the money, and because of that, Maurice later came back with the prostitute, he took the rest of money that Holden presumably “owed” him and beat him leaving Holden severely aggravated and depraved. After Maurice and the prostitute left, Holden felt so despondent and melancholy that he even thought about committing suicide. Sunday morning Holden met two nuns in a subway restaurant and gave them a donation and ended up having a extremely enjoyable conversation with them. Later that afternoon, Holden arranged to have a date with Sally Hayes but then went to the park hoping to see his sister Phoebe. He didn’t see his sister, but he did help a child with his skates and in doing so he was brought back memories of when he was a child . He went from the park to his date, for which he was early.

The date ended up going horribly and then he asked Sally if she would run away with him and that caused her to leave him crying. After his date, Holden went to get a sandwich and tried to contact Jane on the phone, but there was no answer. So instead, Holden went to a bar with Luce a student from Columbia that he knew. Luce acted as though Holden was still a child , and though Holden hated it he remained polite. After Luce left, Holden rode around in a cab for a some time, and then decided to go see Phoebe in the middle of the night. Holden had worked his way into the apartment of his parents went in and wake Phoebe up.

She was Page 4 rather astonished to see him and questioned his reasons for being there. He lied to her, being the phony and a liar that he is. He then had a good talk with her about school and people and everything else on the face of the earth. It was very apparent that Holden liked his sister very much. Eventually, Holden’s parents came home from their party and he was almost caught at home. Finally he gets out though and ends up at Mr. Antolini’s house, his favorite teacher.

With Mr. Antolini Holden got some advise that was very meaningful to him even though Mr. Antolini was drunk at the time. The respect that Mr. Antolini obtained was quite impressive coming from Holden, for Holden was usually demeanor with people. Holden had spent the night on the couch at Mr. Antolini’s house because he was so courteous to Holden. Holden then spent the next day attempting to leave town but because of Phoebe was incapable, for he wanted so much to spend time with her. Finally he had put her on a carousel and sat down in the rain and started to cry out of disappointment/frustration/anger/joy whichever, because he was just a confused little boy.

The story ended with Holden back in the institution being disrespectful to people again as was before and still being in being in the same state of mind that it started with.

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