Holden Caulfield of The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

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When one’s imagination becomes the director and producer of his thoughts and actions, he loses touch with reality. The ideas and plans are in a chaotic time slot; loneliness becomes the major factor in forming erratic thoughts and actions. In the novel A Catcher in the Rye, J.D Salinger gives insight to the protagonist’s thoughts, experiences, and frustrations in his world. Holden Caulfield’s instinctive desire to be a savior of the innocents evolves, and many times in the story, he faces disappointment. The internal struggles arise when his imagination draws him into situations in which he is unable, but wants desperately to be the hero. The world around him including his peers, family, and random encounters, are those conflicts, which are the externally trenchant ones. The external and internal influences on Holden blend to create an overall frustration, dislike, and pessimistic outlook on his present environment. When a Holden loses confidence in him and in the world, he develops a hopeless view of his and the world’s future. J. D. Salinger depicts the chaotic external and internal conflicts that plague the protagonist Holden Caulfield in his The Catcher in the Rye.

An important external conflict is seen in Holden’s relationship with his parents. According to Holden his parents are neither close nor personal with him; he is always in search of adult care. Salinger records very little, if any at all, conversation between Holden and his parents; they seldom show much cognizance of him as their son. Holden’s father is an attorney, a profession that Holden does not respect, and makes no attempt to conceal his opinion. He states: “All you do is make a lot of dough and play golf and play bridge and buy cars and dri...

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...ents surrounding Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye depict the havoc that Holden perceives about his life. Holden has feelings of escaping the world which he considers full of phoniness and hypocrisy. These thoughts are representative of Holden’s method of avoiding adulthood, the fictitiousness of the adult world, and his strong desire to be heroic. At times, he believes that his only way of avoiding this adult world is mortality. He does not see a pleasant life ahead as an adult; Holden is already a teenager, which makes him closer to adulthood. The story ends with Holden’s confession that he misses everybody. He remembers good things along with the bad things, his love and closeness to Phoebe versus the profanity on the school wall. Distinctions between good and evil blend or fade away. All experiences have simply become a part of Holden Caulfield.
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