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The Catcher in the Rye

Satisfactory Essays
In the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger, the characters help portray many themes. J.D Saligner creatively infused his work with varying themes. Holden unknowingly magnifies the importance of the themes, of which he is often times oblivious. This novel is sophisticatedly written in a manner that allows us to see all the themes clearly. The themes portrayed in the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger include phoniness, psychological alienation, and futile protection of innocence.
The first theme evident in the novel is phoniness. Holden hates phonies. He cannot fathom them. Everyone around him is quite phony, even his own family. His brother works in Hollywood, as a screenwriter, and he used to be just a story writer. Holden turns his brother’s success into failure by concluding that D.B is the height of phoniness. D.B used to be a great writer, Holden even admits to loving his stories, but Holden believes D.B sold himself short by sacrificing his great writing for money and fame. For example, the quote “He’s got a lot of dough, now. He didn’t use to,” (1), shows that Holden believes his brother doesn’t care about quality of his writing anymore, just the quantity of the ‘dough’ he is making. Phoniness also appears in the way Holden and J.D Salinger characterize Ossenburger. Ossenburger is as insincere as people come. He is a wealthy man that used to go to Pencey Preparatory, and had a dorm named after himself. Holden stays in this dorm and despises Ossenburger. Ossenburger makes money by creating multiple funeral parlors. He makes speeches at Pencey on applying yourself to hard work and prayer to become as successful as he is, which Holden finds offensive. He states “He said he talked to Jesus all the time. E...

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...he truth that tore Holden’s innocence. Holden was thirteen when his eleven year old brother Allie died of leukemia. The death of his brother and close friend tore him apart. “I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddamn windows with my fist, just for the hell of it,” (39), it is apparent that he hasn’t coped with Allie’s death or with the fact that the death made his mind grow up faster than his body. Allie caused Holden’s breakdown in the long run and is the cause of many themes in the book.
In conclusion, the novel the Catcher in the Rye has many different themes in including phoniness, psychological alienation and the protection of the innocent. Holden Caulfield develops these themes throughout the novel. The novel successfully portrays each theme in a variety of ways, and teaches many good life lessons to the readers.
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