The Catcher in the Rye Essay examples

The Catcher in the Rye Essay examples

Length: 1002 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is a controversial book from many aspects. There was a public uproar when it was primarily released in 1951, mainly due to the profanity and sexual exploitation within. Salinger was able to construct the text in a unique manner, writing from the perspective of a highly critical, lonely and depressed 17 year old boy, Holden Caulfield, who recounts an incident which occurred one year ago. Holden was expelled from Pencey Prep, a rich and well known prep school with a good reputation. He dropped out due to academic failure but claimed that “he could’ve done the work, he just chose not to apply himself.” Holden decided to give his parents time to digest the news so they wouldn’t be overwhelmingly furious with him, and the few days which he had to squander resulted in some of the most life-changing experiences of his life as he realized many things he hadn’t been aware of previously.

The narrative perspective is a critical component of the text. It explores the protagonist’s (Holden’s) many narrow-minded views on the world around him. He frequently affirms that the world is filled with hypocrisy and “phoniness“. Holden narrates in a cynical and skeptical manner and could almost be described as narcissistic at times, despite the fact that he may be perceived as intelligent and sensitive in some ways. His attitude remains contemptuous and derisive throughout the progress of the book, suggesting that although he has had many significant experiences, his views on insincerity in society have not altered.

Holden is often quick to judge and stereotype when labeling hypocrites and phonies. For example, he professes to despise cinema for its representation of phoniness, but at times makes thoughtful...


... middle of paper ...


...om the depression and loneliness he feels at times.

Following his expulsion, Holden primarily visits his history teacher, Mr. Spencer. He talks with old acquaintances at school and then leaves for New York, where he regularly relocates. He travels to bars and nightclubs where he befriends some people, including three tourists from Seattle for whom he buys drinks. It is implied that Holden eventually returns home and was psychoanalyzed. The variation of settings encapsulates Holden’s impetuosity which is a vital part of his personality.

In conclusion, J.D. Salinger was able to develop the novel using many techniques which further add to the enthralling plot. The Catcher in the Rye is an exceptional book, but not simply because of the content of the text, it is the manner in which it is conveyed that makes it distinguishable from many other controversial texts.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Preservation of Innocence In The Catcher in the Rye Essay

- Themes in literary works are central, recurring ideas or messages that allow us to understand more deeply about the characters. It is a perception about life or human nature that is often shared with the reader. In The Catcher in the Rye, there are several themes that can be found in the words and actions of the narrator, Holden Caulfield. The dominating theme in this novel is the preservation of innocence, especially of children. We can see this throughout the novel, as Holden strives to preserve innocence in himself and others....   [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]

Strong Essays
539 words (1.5 pages)

The Theme of Innocence in The Catcher In the Rye Essay

- In many novels the title of the story is more important than most people initially think. It often reveals important information about the story. In The Catcher In the Rye, Holden says that his dream job would to be the catcher in rye. This is significant to the story because of how Holden feels that adults are trying to ruin the innocence of children, and how he can be the one that saves them. Holden then realizes he cannot always be the one to save the children. This is show throughout the book but especially in the scene where Holden takes Phoebe to the carousel.This shows that Holden wants to be the catcher in the rye so that he can help keep the children their innocence from adults....   [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]

Strong Essays
985 words (2.8 pages)

Corruption Exposed in The Catcher in the Rye Essay

- 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]

Strong Essays
869 words (2.5 pages)

Catcher in the Rye Essay

- Holden Caufield emphasizes on the loss of innocence in children. He feels that once they lose their innocence, they will soon turn into phonies like everyone else. The loss of innocence is very common in the development in human existence. It is caused by many factors. Past a certain age, children are either forced or led unintentionally into a pathway of corruption. A child is also known to lose their innocence by desires, fantasies, and attention. But once they lose their innocence, they tend to desire to go back and pretend to be young again....   [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]

Strong Essays
1876 words (5.4 pages)

Catcher In The Rye Essay

- 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 life—his thoughts, ideals, writing objectives—remain shrouded in mystery....   [tags: J.D. Salinger Book Review Catcher Rye]

Strong Essays
1679 words (4.8 pages)

Unreachable Dreams in The Catcher in The Rye Essay

- Unreachable Dreams in The Catcher in The Rye      Many people find that their dreams are unreachable.  Holden Caulfield realizes this in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.  As Holden tells his story, he recounts the events since leaving the Pencey School to his psychiatrist.  At first, Holden sounds like a typical, misguided teenager, rebellious towards his parents, angry with his teachers, and flunking out of school.  However, as his story progresses, it becomes clear that Holden is indeed motivated, just not academically.  He has a purpose: to protect the young and innocent minds of young children from the "horrors" of adult society.  He hopes to freeze the ch...   [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]

Free Essays
1131 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Symbols and Symbolism in Catcher in the Rye

- The Catcher in the Rye - Symbolism In the Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger uses different examples of symbolism throughout the novel to let the reader into the thoughts of Holden Caulfield.  Three major examples of his symbolism are the ducks with the frozen pond, Jane Gallagher, and the Museum of Natural History.  Salinger uses all three of these symbols to represent the thoughts of the central character, Holden Caulfield.     While Holden Caulfield is wondering around New York City, he asks many people what happens to the ducks when the pond freezes.  The repetition of this question symbolizes what Holden is truly asking for himself.  He isn't trying to find out what will happen...   [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]

Free Essays
463 words (1.3 pages)

Essay on Understanding the Inevitable in The Catcher in the Rye

- Understanding the Inevitable in The Catcher in the Rye If something is inevitable, it will occur at some point in time. It is an event that will occur no matter what is done to stop it from happening. In the book The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield tries to stop himself from maturing into an adult. The book details the events that happen to show Holden that he cannot overcome maturity because maturity is inevitable. Holden Caulfield has failed out of three other prep schools before his parents enroll him at Prencey....   [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]

Strong Essays
918 words (2.6 pages)

The Theme of Hypocrisy in The Catcher In The Rye Essay

- The Theme of Hypocrisy in The Catcher In The Rye In the novel The Catcher In The Rye, the protagonist Holden Caulfield views his surroundings with hypocrisy and contempt in an attempt to avoid the corruption of adulthood. Holden places himself above the crowd because he believes everyone acts phony. In the process, Caulfield reveals his true problem: his refusal to change. Holden fears adulthood because it brings responsibilities and trouble. He believes all adults possess an aurora of "phoniness." His disgust of everyone around him reveals his fear of growing up....   [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]

Strong Essays
499 words (1.4 pages)

J.D. Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye Essay

- 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]

Strong Essays
2031 words (5.8 pages)