In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden views the world as an evil and corrupt place where there is no peace. His view of the world does not change much through the novel. However as the novel continues, Holden gradually comes to the realization that he is powerless to change this.
In the book Holden succeeds in making us think that the world is crazy. Shortly after Holden leaves Pencey Prep, he checks in to the Edmont Hotel in Manhattan which was "full of perverts and morons. There were screwballs all over the place." His situation only worsens from this point on as the more he looks around this world, the more depressing life seems.
Around every corner Holden sees evil. He looks out on a world which appears immoral and corrupt. Holden's beliefs on the possibility that not everyone has eveil intentions change only once in the book. The scene is that with Mr. Antolini. After Mr. Antolini patted Holden on the head while he was sleeping, Holden jumped up and ran out thinking that Mr. Antolini was a pervert as well. This is the only time during the novel where Holden thinks twice about considering someone as a pervert.
After reviewing Mr. Antolini, Holden finally decides that maybe he wasn't making a "flitty" pass at him. Maybe he just like patting guys heads as they sleep. This is really the only time in the novel where Holden actually considers a positive side. As Holden himself says, "It's not too bad when the sun's out, but the sun only comes out when it feels like coming out."
The one idea that does change during the novel is Holden's belief that he can change the world. On his date with Sally, Holden reveals his feelings. "Did you ever g...
... middle of paper ...
..., you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it's bad if you say anything to them." In the above passage from the novel, Holden hits the final breakdown. Being "the catcher" becomes obviously foolish. The gold rings are ironically not gold, but really brass-plated iron. The gold rings are symbols of the corrupted world which always "wears" a shiny surface to hide its evil. It is at this point that Holden sees that he can not stop children from growing up and losing their innocence. They will fall if they fall, there is nothing that can be done.
Shortly after this point Holden has his nervous breakdown. His breakdown is due to this realization that the world is incorrupt and filled with evil. He knows now with a certainty that he is powerless to stop both evil and growth.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The theme of The Catcher in the Rye is simple. J. D. Salinger uses this novel to draw a clear distinction between the purity of childhood and the wickedness attained when one reaches adulthood. Salinger uses multiple literary devices including diction, symbolism, tone, and even the title of the novel to drive home his ideas about the innocence of children and the corruption of the world. The form of diction used in The Catcher in the Rye is a topic on which many people are strongly opinionated. Because the narrator speaks solely in the vernacular, the novel is ripe with vulgar language.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]
869 words (2.5 pages)
- In J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, the first person narration played a critical role in helping the reader to know and understand the main character, Holden Caulfield. Salinger also uses symbolism to help portray the theme that not everything that glitters is gold. Holden, in his narration, relates a flashback of a significant period of his life, three days and nights on his own in New York City. Through his narration, Holden discloses to the reader his innermost thoughts and also helps to introduce the reader to many of the symbols strategically placed throughout the novel.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]
1095 words (3.1 pages)
- The Modern era is classified as the period that started as the World War I ended. There where huge changes in technology. International corporations began to rise in power. They began to “westernize” with values, such as the appeal to industrialization, personal political rights, democracy, a background of knowledge in mass and education, private ownership of the means of production, the scientific method, public institutions, a questioning in God, and the independence of woman. Then by the year 1939 the Second World War took place and as it ended a new literary period began to form.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]
1815 words (5.2 pages)
- Intoxication with Innocence Adolescence a period of life when a child develops from a child into an adult. It is the stage of development in which psychological changes occur and efforts towards creating an identity begin. Clearly, it is an emotionally straining and stressful period. In The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger we are introduce to an adolescence boy. From first impressions would let one to believe Holden Caulfield is just any other teenager going through a phase of rebellion. The truth of the matter is that Holden’s angst arises from a deeper problem.... [tags: psychological changes, relationships]
1068 words (3.1 pages)
- The Theme of Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger In the novel Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, the protagonist Holden Caulifield views the world as an evil corrupt place where there is no peace. Holden has a phony phobia that restricts him from becoming a fully matured adult. In Holden's attempted journey in becoming a fully matured adult, he encounters many scenarios involving friendship, personal opinions, and his love of children. His journey is an unpleasant and difficult one with many lessons learned along the way; including the realization that he is powerless to change the world.... [tags: Papers]
559 words (1.6 pages)
- It is a fact of life that no one can remain young forever. Some teenagers cannot wait to grow up and get out on their own away from childish rules and parental limitations. For other teenagers the thought of the adult world conjures images of negativity and responsibilities such as going to work everyday, dealing with undesirable people, and being part of a stiff society. However, mediums do exist between these two contrasting worlds. Unfortunately, Holden Caulfield, an adolescent struggling with growing up in the novel The Catcher in the Rye, is not aware of these mediums.... [tags: essays research papers]
2458 words (7 pages)
- If you were to witness something corrupt, what would you do. Would you try to stop it. Or would you just look the other way and pretend it was not there. In today’s society, corruption is almost everywhere, and too often, people just look the other way, allowing it to continue. In writing The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger attempts to show people the evils of a corrupt society, and how it can harm anyone. He does this through Holden’s experiences at Pencey and in NYC, as well as the uncertainty and confusion that Holden feels about sex.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]
1133 words (3.2 pages)
- From J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye comes forth the timeless protagonist, Holden Caulfield. To some, the perplexing anomalies of his character remain a captivating mystery, but to others, such as psychoanalysts, Holden Caulfield is an open book. By carefully observing his social quirks and inward thoughts, psychoanalysts can make a conclusion about his psyche. Specifically, through his lack of social contact, occasional mood swings, and paranoia among other things, anyone looking through a psychoanalytic lens could conclude that Holden Caulfield is schizophrenic.... [tags: Catcher in the Rye, Character Development]
1352 words (3.9 pages)
- J.D. Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye The novel The Catcher In The Rye, by J.D. Salinger, contains many complex symbols, many of the symbols in the book are interconnected. A symbol is an object represents an idea that is important to the novel. I believe the most important symbol in this novel is Holden’s idea of being the “catcher in the rye”. Holden Caulfield, the main character in the novel, is not the typical sixteen year old boy. Holden has many characteristics that aren’t typical of anyone that I know.... [tags: Salinger Catcher Rye Essays]
2031 words (5.8 pages)
- J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger's notable and esteemed novel, Catcher in the Rye, reflects the hypercritical views of a troubled teenager, Holden Caulfield, towards everyone around him and society itself. This character has a distinguished vision of a world where morality, principles, intelligence, purity, and naivety should override money, sex, and power, but clearly in the world he inhabits these qualities have been exiled. Holder desperately clings to and regards innocence as one of the most important virtues a person can have.... [tags: Catcher Rye Salinger]
1237 words (3.5 pages)