One of the greatest American Literature writers, J.D. Salinger, was familiar with a rough childhood by experience. He was able to parallel his experiences to the experiences of Holden Caulfield, the protagonist in The Catcher in Rye. In this novel, Holden experiences conflicts that most youth are not familiar with. The conflicts in Holden Caulfield’s life are caused by various forces and circumstances.
One of the main conflict’s in the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, is the recurring theme of innocence. Holden attempts to resist maturing and wants to live his life as an innocent adolescent, by staying the same, like the exhibits in the Museum of Natural History. As he reflects on the corruption of innocence throughout the novel, he realizes that he cannot remain innocent forever. While sneaking home to see his mentally unblemished little sister Phoebe, she asks him what he wants to do with his life. Holden responses to her question with a quote from a poem called “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye” by Robert Burns. This poem is about two kids having sex in a field, but Holden believes that the poem is about kids playing in a rye field. He relates this to what he wants to do in life by stating, “ 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 mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all” (Salinger 173). Holden implies if you fall of the cliff of childhood you mature, but if Holden catches you, you remain innocent.
Holdens views on innocence directly impacted the way he viewed of adults. The views h...
... middle of paper ...
...neliness is difficult to fess up to”, Holden is able to openly tell the reader that he is lonely and there is nothing he can do about it (Olien).
J.D. Salinger's experience with a rough childhood was critical in the making of this novel. Without the knowledge of a rough childhood, Salinger wouldn’t have been able to parallel himself through Holden Caulfield. Through out the novel Holden was often caught up in many issues that tended to bring him down and or make him mad. Whether he was flawed by innocence or authority, he was still able to change his ways of thinking by the end of the story to create a classic American bildungsroman.
Olien, Jessica. "Loneliness Can Kill You. Don't Let It." Slate Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014 Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, 1951. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]
2262 words (6.5 pages)
- Character Analysis of Holden Caulfield Ever since its publication in 1951, J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye has served as a firestorm for controversy and debate. Salinger's portrayal of Holden, which includes incidents of depression, nervous breakdown, impulsive spending, sexual exploration, crudeness, and other erratic behavior, have all ascribed to the controversial nature of the novel. Holden embarks on a journey and through every turn in the road, he deals with conflicts within himself searching for the truth in a society full of falsity.... [tags: J.D. Salinger]
1006 words (2.9 pages)
- Holden's Mentality in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye A young man going through puberty, not knowing what he is doing or where he is headed, becoming increasingly insane, in a world in which he feels he doesn't belong in, and around a bunch of "phonies." This would describe the position of Holden Caulfield, the controversial protagonist and main character in The Catcher In The Rye (1951) written by J.D. Salinger. The book, all narrated by Holden in first person, in its very unique and humorous style, is about Holden, and all the troubles he has encountered through school, family, friends, and basically life.... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
875 words (2.5 pages)
- From the Outside, Looking In Despite the debate that may wage on regarding the status to be afforded J. D. Salinger's writings, the author's books have not quietly faded into obscurity. Although published almost a half-century ago, the author's most famous work, Catcher in the Rye, enjoys almost as healthy and devoted a following today as the book did when it was first published. Because of a self-imposed exile that began almost at the same time the Salinger's career was just taking off, much of the substance of the writer's lifehis thoughts, ideals, writing objectivesremain shrouded in mystery.... [tags: J.D. Salinger Book Review Catcher Rye]
1679 words (4.8 pages)
- J.D. Salinger published Catcher in The Rye in 1951. The main protagonist in the novel, Holden Caulfield experiences many conflicts and predicaments. It is common for Holden to hold opinions on characters throughout the book. His opinionated nature shows that human interactions mean a lot to him. Holden generally likes genuine people opposed to phony people. The comparison of genuine and phony is shown throughout the novel, especially when Holden meets new people. His true personality is shown to the reader when we see whom he respects and despises.... [tags: J.D. Salinger]
866 words (2.5 pages)
- The Importance of Honesty in The Catcher in the Rye "`I'm just going through a phase right now. Everybody goes through phases and all, don't they?'"( pg. 15) In The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield is a sixteen year-old who is disgusted at all the phony people in the world. For example where artists sacrifice their art for fame and mothers cry fake tears in movies. The importance of not being phony and being honest is the theme that Salinger presents in this story.... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
615 words (1.8 pages)
- Throughout history, authors of young adult literature are oftentimes forced to incorporate the perils of young adulthood into their plots, characters, and conflicts. Growing up in America is an experience unlike no other. Today, American young adults are part of a large generation called the Millenials, who are considered the most educated in American history. They are more open minded, progressive, successful, and technological. However, it is not all sunshine and rainbows for these young Americans who oftentimes have outstanding debt and job prospects that are unacceptably dim.... [tags: silent generation, war, conflicts]
1718 words (4.9 pages)
- In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, the leading character, Holden Caulfield, emerges as an adolescence lost in his own private world of pain and suffering, yet ostensibly he was able to provide himself with all the luxuries and splendors of American society. Holden is presented as a failure who struggles to stay in at least one of the four schools he's been kicked out of. This can reflect that Holden can't manage to get by in life. Throughout the book, it is obvious that Holden is running from so many things such as growing up, reality and people who are phonies.... [tags: catcher in the rye, holden caulfied]
1350 words (3.9 pages)
- The Catcher in the Rye In Jerome David Salinger’s book The Catcher in the Rye the difficulties In Holden’s life sends you through a thrilling adventure through all Holden have been through. The short story Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut also shows the drama of a little girl named Ramona. Ramona has an alcohol addictive mother who thinks Ramona is in serious trouble. Ramona’s mother creates an imagery friend from Ramona to help her out with things and to keep her company while she is playing.... [tags: essays research papers]
1261 words (3.6 pages)
- In 1964, J.D. Salinger composed a novel titled The Catcher in the Rye that became quite controversial and was banned from several schools because of inappropriate content. The story is pretty dramatic, but it has many comical incidents. The book is trying to project the idea that you can run from your problems as much as you want; however it is inevitable that you face them. You can’t run forever. If this were a scary movie, the evil laughter would start now. Our main character Holden Caulfield at first appears to be having a conflict with society, but, upon closer examination, we see he is truly only at war with himself.... [tags: essays research papers]
1859 words (5.3 pages)