“The mark of the mature man is that he wants to die noble for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humble for one”
By: Whihelm Stekel
Holden Caufield’s character in The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger is exemplified by this quote. Holden does not accept the reality of life and tries to correct all the wrongs. He tries to be the savior of all the problems. As Richard Ohmann states, “Holden’s looking forward to better world, not backwards to a world with more freedom for the individual.”This is a “Marxist Society, not a Rousseaueque world.” This novel is a “picaresque novel” about initiation into manhood. Holden’s psychoanalytical treatment represents a kind of facing reality. Holden must learn to accept reality and overcome most of his idealism.
A. Considers everyone phonies
1. Mr. Haas (Elkton Hills)
2. Hotel- window
3. Mr. Antolini’s house
a. Holden seems to “hate” situations that jam one tightly unnatural atmosphere’s with others and involve being touched.
b. ” While his kid sister’s accusation that he dislikes everything is not in fact true, it is true that the world in which he lives is populated to an overwhelming degree of phony creeps.”
a.Went to Phoebe’s school
b. Tries to remove words
c. Fantasizes what to do with the progenitor
d. Realizes reality and truth
A. Allie- (notecard)
1. night in garage
2. gets melancholy when it rains
a. thinks about Allie lying there under the mud
b. visits him
B. Sally and Holden’s date
1. Holden wants Sally to come out West.
2. Sally cries- ( loss of loved ones)
A. Holden goes to Phoebe’s schools to give her a message.
1. Secretary yells “Good Luck” – just like Old Spencer
1. Holden’s fall leaving bathroom
2. Wants to go with him (all packed)
3. “I’m not going anywhere. I changed my mind so stop
crying, and shut up”.
1. Wears it backwards to symbolize being a “survivor”.
a. Phoebe throws him the hat and places it on his head.
b. When it starts raining – it gave him protection.
1. on forward
2. not survivor anymore
1. Holden tells Phoebe about song.
a. “If a body catch a body coming through the rye”.
b. Phoebe corrects him.
c. Holden only wants to catch the little kids.
d. To meet is to be free, to catch is to aid survival,
and somehow survive.
E. Fear of Surviving
1. Holden is scared of surviving
a. 5th Ave.
b. “fear of not reaching the other side”
c. turns to Allie- only person he could turn to
F. Accepting Reality
a. “He has abandoned his madman’s dream of being a
catcher in the rye, and realized that you have to let kids
grow up, take chances, and make their own mistakes.
b. Symbol – song at carousel – “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”.
c. Grabbing for ring
1. ring – fit emblem of a society that washes a glittering
surface over a shodds foundation.
d. If they fall off, they fall off, but its bad if you say anything
1. Holden at the end accepts reality, while not losing his idealism.