preview

Theme Of Holden Caulfield

Better Essays
J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in The Rye illustrates Holden Caulfield 's life, and his rough transition from an innocent child to a young adult. Caulfields past experiences with death, and his resentment towards others proves that he is no longer a pure, angelic child, but is now a depressed teen who sees no bliss in the daunting life he lives, and wants to shield himself from all of the “phonies” surrounding him. Holden has a dilemma with the fact that things are constantly changing in his life, and despises the fact that there are fast paced, challenging obstacles that come with being an adult. One thing that Holden admits to loving is something that never changes, the Museum of Natural History. He says, “The best thing, though, in that museum…show more content…
With this comes his resentment towards everyone around him. Holden Caulfield, with a few exceptions, has never seen someone for who and what they truly are, but instead looks at everyone as a phony. He states, “One of the biggest reasons I left Elkton Hills was because I was surrounded by phonies. That 's all.” (17). Holden especially has a true resentment towards his parents that is caused by Allies death. In 1946, Holden 's little brother Allie died and his world crumbled, putting him into an angry and depressed state of mind. Caulfields parents made the situation much worse, by practically getting rid of Holden and sending him to a boarding school. This proves that they did not want to deal with him, and ultimately wanted him out to mask some of their problems. This becomes a very strong reason that proves Holden 's hatred for his parents. There are a variety of examples to prove the uneasy transition that Holden goes through, but his resentment towards others truly shows the loss of innocence by showing that he is no longer a happy kid. He instead jumps to the conclusion that everyone, and everything is…show more content…
Holden says, “Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all... And I 'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff...I 'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it 's crazy, but that 's the only thing I 'd really like to be.” (191). Holden is saying that he wants to catch kids who are about to fall of the cliff. What he means by this is he wants to save kids before they lose their innocence. Holden does not want any kids losing their innocence, and he says his dream is to just be there, at that cliff to save anyone who gets into something that is awful and depressing. Another quote in the book that shows holden does not want kids to lose their innocence is when he sees a vulgar word scratched into a wall, visible to kids at a school. “Fuck you" on the wall. It drove me damn near crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and how they 'd wonder what the hell it meant, and then finally some dirty kid would tell them – all cockeyed, naturally – what it meant, and how they 'd all think about it and maybe even worry about it for a couple of days. I kept wanting to kill whoever 'd written it.” (221). Holden truly worries about the kids seeing this word because he doesn 't want them to have any fear or uneasiness. He
Get Access