Holden in The Catcher in The Rye Essay

Holden in The Catcher in The Rye Essay

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The author has put in plenty of themes, messages, ideas, issues, and motifs. The character, Holden Caulfield is alienated from society, is experiencing the painfulness of growing up, thinks that the adult world is full of phoniness, and is sick of hearing about the American Dream from his teachers. JD Salinger has created a book that has raised plenty of questions and controversy towards the readers. The Catcher in the Rye shows how a teenage mind works. JD Salinger has used a stream of consciousness writing style where the character (Holden Caulfield) talks in first person as he presents his thoughts and feelings to the readers. The setting has taken place in the early fifties and the book uses a lot of profane words. The New York vernacular helps to explain the plot and help define the character.

The Catcher in the Rye clearly states that Holden is an individual trapped within a heartless world. He is victimized on the other side of the world but he tries to get in the world which he feels that he does not belong in. Holden wears a red hunting hat as a symbol to show that he is a rebel against the law. By criticizing others, that is the way Holden hides away from his fears. “Pencey was full of crooks. A few guys came from wealthy families, but it was full of crooks anyway. The more expensive a school is, the more crooks it has - I'm not kidding.” In his mind, the adult world’s is full of phoniness. He imagines that childhood is life while adulthood is death. When Phoebe (his younger sister) asks Holden what he wants to be when he grows up, Holden thinks about it and says “I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I m...


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...an instead of his 16 year old self. The ducks are symbolic since they show Holden that some things are only temporary and that they do not always stay the same. The ducks vanish every winter but return once winter is over. It shows how the world and things are temporary and how they don’t stay the same forever. The pond is another symbol as it shows that it is “partly frozen and partly not frozen.” It is in two states just like Holden who is stuck between childhood and adulthood. “I live in New York, and I was thinking about the lagoon in Central Park, down near Central Park South. I was wondering if it would be frozen over when I got home, and if it was, where did the ducks go? I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over. I wondered if some guy came in a truck and took them away to a zoo or something. Or if they just flew away.”

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