In J.D. Salinger 's Catcher in the Rye, the anti-hero Holden Caulfield is constantly seen projecting extreme hate towards the pretentious society that ironically composes his upbringing. Despite being enrolled in several prestigious institutions by his parents, he intentionally gets himself expelled from them, to surround himself with a greater truth, real people, as he wanders off in New York. He struggles in searching for a certain kind of love that is unrequited. Through seemingly unrelated encounters with different kinds of individuals along his journey, Holden finds himself connected to certain characters, but he often cannot come to accept them for who they are, a recurring theme. The Catcher in the Rye does not follow or have a traditional plot line or a hero. Holden nar...
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...ero from himself, in thus, making him a hero. The internal conflict with dealing with these emotions are relatable and reflective of one’s change into adulthood, a moment that is defined through the loss of innocence and struggle, which reveal one’s own change in viewing the world more differently than before. “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one” (Salinger 188). The decision that Holden chooses is to become the latter, a mature man than an immature one, that Mr. Antonili had insinuated that he was going on the path of an endless cycle of contradictions. It is not adequate for one person to become the “catcher in the rye”; everyone is their “catcher in the rye”; and therefore, it is not a tragedy, but a revelation of truth, an epiphany that they share.
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