Analysis of A Catcher In the Rye's Holden Caulfield: Enemy of Himself Essay

Analysis of A Catcher In the Rye's Holden Caulfield: Enemy of Himself Essay

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Jerome David Salinger’s only novel, The Catcher in the Rye, is based on the life events shaping main character, Holden Caulfield, into the troubled teen that is telling the story in 1950. The theme of the story is one of emotional disconnection felt by the alienated teenagers of this time period. The quote, “ I didn’t know anyone there that was splendid and clear thinking and all” (Salinger 4) sets the tone that Holden cannot find a connection with anyone around him and that he is on a lonely endeavor in pursuit of identity, acceptance and legitimacy. The trials and failures that Holden faces on his journey to find himself in total shed light on Holden’s archenemy, himself.
In J.D Salinger’s, “The Catcher in the Rye”, protagonist, Holden Caulfield portrays characteristics of an adolescent boy unready to face the responsibilities of adulthood through the way he becomes infatuated with the stagnancy of some of his surroundings. Various times throughout the text Holden thinks about certain things enviously because he desires the ability they have to resist change. There are various times in the novel where Holden finds a double meaning in stagnant, inanimate objects. This happens when Holden is visiting a museum he has been to many times before as younger child. While observing a glass display case of eskimoes that are arranged in the exactly same way as he recalls from his childhood, Holden starts pondering on the idea that each time someone visits the museum there is something different about the person, and that the museum itself stays exactly the way it was before. Holden trips over his thoughts and states, “Certain things should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those glass cases and just ...


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Works Cited

Baumbach, Jonathan, and Harold Bloom. Bloom’s Guides: The Catcher in the Rye 3rd ed.
New York: Chelsea House, 2007. Print
Contributors. Critical Insights: The Catcher in the Rye 341-344
September 16, 2011;: 341-344. Available from: Literary Reference Center, lpswich, MA
Accessed December 10, 2013.
Privitera L. Holden’s Irony in Salinger’s The Catcher in the RYE.
Explicator 0014-4940 Summer2008 2008; 66(4) 203-206
Available from: Academic Search Complete, lpswich, MA
Accessed December 10, 2013.
Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1951. Print.
Vanderbilt H. About This Volume. Critical Insights: The Catcher in the Rye 978-1-58765-837-2
September 16, 2011;: vii-xii. Available from: Literary Reference Center, lpswich, MA.
Accesses December 10, 2013.


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