The Metamorphosis of Holden in The Catcher in the Rye Essay

The Metamorphosis of Holden in The Catcher in the Rye Essay

Length: 1183 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Metamorphosis of Holden in The Catcher in the Rye

    Without love and guidance, young people often find themselves lost; unsure of what direction their lives are headed. Such is the case with Holden Caulfield, a character from the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. Holden is a sixteen-year old boy who has lost his way. Hold has suffered a great loss, the death of his Brother, Allie.



Holden is trying to reconcile his emotions since Allie's death. While dealing with their own grief, Holden's parents have neglected his needs and have therefore not addressed this with him. Holden goes searching for answers and companionship since his parents are emotionally unavailable. This story takes up with Holden on in search to all the wrong places to find these things.

After a fight with his roommate at Pencey Prep School, Holden goes to Ackly's room. He strikes up some very superficial conversation and then asks if Ackly wants to play a game of cards. Ackly declines. Asking "Do you know what time it is, by any chance?"(pg.42) Holden is aware of the time but is desperate for a friend. Holden presses father asking if he could spend the night in Ackly's room. Ackly once again denied Holden's request


With that, Holden let's Ackly go back to sleep and lays alone with his thoughts, "I t was depressing out in the street. You couldn't even hear any cars anymore. I got feeling so lonesome and rotten. I even felt like waking Ackly up."(pg.50) At this point Holden decides that he is going to run away for a few days before he has to go home. On the train going into the city, Holden meets up with Mrs. Morrow. He finds her very attractive. An interesting point here is that he te...

... middle of paper ...

...about the carousel."(pg.213) It started pouring rain but Holden wasn't bothered, he " felt so damned happy."(pg.213) At that point Holden was able to say goodbye to Allie and let go of his grief. Holden returns home with Phoebe, and his family get him some help. He'll be back to school in the fall and this time he's ready to put in an effort.


Sources Consulted


Davis, Robert Con, ed. Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 56. Detroit: Gail Research Inc., 1989.

 Marsden, Malcolm M. Ed. If You Really Want to Know: A "Catcher" Casebook.  Chicago: Scott, Foresman, 2002.  68-73.

Internet Public Library. "Salinger Literary Criticism Collection.".Dec 2001.17 April 2002.< bin/ref/litcrit/>.

Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1951



Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Free Essays - The Metamorphosis of Holden in Sallinger's Catcher in the Rye

- The Metamorphosis of Holden in Sallinger's Catcher in the Rye In J.D. Sallinger's Catcher in the Rye, is based on the sullen life of Holden Caulfield, a 16-year-old teen-ager is trying to find his sense of direction. Holden, a growing adult, cannot accept the responsibilities of an adult. Eventually realizing that there is no way to avoid the adult life, he can only but accept this alternative lifestyle. What Holden describes the adult world as a sinful, corrupted life, he avoids it for three important reasons: His hatred towards phonies and liars, unable to accept adult responsibilities, and thirdly to enshrine his childhood youth....   [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]

Free Essays
823 words (2.4 pages)

Catcher in the Rye Essay: Holden’s Metamorphosis

- Holden's Metamorphosis in The Catcher in the Rye       J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is the chronicle of a young man's metamorphosis from immaturity to unsure manhood. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist, is a sixteen-year old boy who leaves the prep school he has been expelled from to escape the frightening reality of dealing with his parents. However, during his visit to New York City he is faced with the harsh reality that he cannot continue to hold onto his childhood. Holden is an extremely complex character and it is only by examining each layer of him that the reader is able to understand his painful metamorphosis....   [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]

Strong Essays
1970 words (5.6 pages)

Holden's Attitudes Toward Childhood and Adulthood in Salinger's, The Catcher in the Rye

- Holden Caulfield is the protagonist in the novel “The Catcher in the Rye”. In the book Holden hears a quote “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he want to live humbly for one” (Salinger 188) which he embraces as he matures throughout the story. Holden’s opinions of childhood and adulthood change as he grows through experience. Throughout the story Holden emphasizes his love for childhood innocence. In a passage he says “The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the golden ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything.” (Salinger 211) This immediately points to his affinity for innocence and not havi...   [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]

Strong Essays
608 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Juxtaposing Growing Up in The Metamorphosis and The Catcher in the Rye

- While growing up, it is better to try to get involved in society, even violently, rather than alienating one’s self. Growing up can be painful, especially for the protagonists in The Metamorphosis and The Catcher in the rye. The meaning of the work for The catcher in the rye is “People look to approval from others and a sense of belonging to derive their self-worth” and the meaning of the work for the t.m is “Society values only those who are useful to them - those who live without purpose in life are merely a burden” Holden’s parents are “touchy as hell”(1), and do not take care of him, choosing to send him to boarding schools....   [tags: society, sexual, violence]

Strong Essays
621 words (1.8 pages)

Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God and Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye

- "Dey all useter call me Alphabet 'cause so many people had done named me different names," Janie says (Hurston 9). The nickname "Alphabet" is fitting in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God because Janie is always changing and rearraging, never the same. Janie Crawford was constantly searching for happiness, self-realization, and her own voice. Janie dares not to fit the mold, but rather defy it to get what she wants. On the journey to find her voice, she marries three separate men and each one of these men contribute to Janie’s quest in different ways....   [tags: comparison essays]

Strong Essays
1018 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Holden Caulfield is Lost in The Catcher in the Rye

- 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]

Strong Essays
1350 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Holden's Depression in The Catcher in the Rye

- Nineteen million American adults suffer from a major case of depression (Web MD). That is a staggering one in every fifteen people (2 in our classroom alone). Holden Caulfield is clearly one of those people. Depression is a disease that leads to death but is also preventable. Psychology, stressful events, and prescription drugs are causes of depression. Stressful events brought on Holden’s depression. Holden has been trying to withstand losing a brother, living with careless parents, and not having many friends....   [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]

Strong Essays
642 words (1.8 pages)

Holden's Crisis With Adolescence in The Catcher in the Rye Essay

- “Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.” - Martin Luther King Jr. Symbols are not defined by words, but by the way one feels toward it. The emotional connection between a symbol and a person can only be showed through the heart and soul. In the Catcher in the Rye, J.D Salinger uses symbolism to show Holdens contradictory personality and his crisis with adolescences....   [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]

Strong Essays
797 words (2.3 pages)

Holden's Fear of Change in The Catcher in the Rye Essay

- People rebel for a cause. In the book “The Catcher in the Rye” , the protagonist, Holden Caulfield is living in a school called Pencey Prep. Holden is failing all of his classes except English, and he often curses and smokes cigarettes in his dorm. One of Holden’s main problems in life is the death of his brother Allie. Allie, who died of leukemia 3 years prior to the events of the book, was the only person who deeply understood Holden. When Allie died, Holden broke all of the windows in his garage while breaking his own hand....   [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]

Strong Essays
1906 words (5.4 pages)

Essay Holden and Reznor in Catcher in the Rye

- Holden Caufield is a person with many mixed feelings. His happiness was left, but not forgotten in the past, and he suffers terribly because he cannot adjust to these changes to his world and also to himself. In the strong sense, looking back at the lost sense of reality that he still hangs on to, relieves him of all the troubles he has at the present time. He always compares things that happened in the past to events that happen in the present. The song, "Hurt," by Nine Inch Nails (NIN), written by Trent Reznor, represents many of the feelings Holden experiences in his time of change....   [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]

Free Essays
1253 words (3.6 pages)