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Catcher In The Rye Essay Hooks

The Theme of Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger Essay

568 Words3 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.

Around every corner Holden sees corruption. He looks out on a world, which appears completely immoral and unscrupulous. Holden finds a hard…show more content…

Holden believes that he can change the world and he reveals his feelings on a date with Sally '" Did you ever get fed up? … I mean did you ever get scared that everything was going to go lousy unless you did something…"'(pg 130). Holden proposes to Sally to escape this world with him. It is finally to his younger sister that Holden reveals that he wants to prevent children from growing up. He blames the world's corruption on adults and believes that when he stops the children from growing up he will preserve their innocence and save the world.

Holden's phony addiction gets him into trouble at school. Holden looks for the flaws in everyone and tries to eliminate that person he sees as a threat, such as when Holden decides to face off against the phony Stradlater after Stradlater's date with Jane. Holden also thinks every teacher is a phony who pretends to be helpful to students. If Holden has trouble in school he does not seek help from his peers because he believes that they are phonies. Hence this point is tied into one of the reasons he is kicked out of Pencey, failing four out of five courses. Holden's avoidance of things phony is very strong and he has a one-track mind. It is either his way or the highway, this is another example of how Holden's phony problem hinders his chance at full maturity. Holden is so scared

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Holden's Attempt at Isolation in "Catcher in the Rye" Essay

686 WordsMar 20th, 20083 Pages

As humans we sometimes seek isolation rather than human interaction for fear of being overwhelmed emotionally. For some people, comfort comes with the knowledge that alone, they are the masters of their own emotions, free from the pain of the world's occasional bitterness and sting. In the coming-of-age tale "Catcher in the Rye," J.D. Salinger explores this phenomenon through the voice of the narrator, Holden Caulfield. Although Holden possesses a voice of intelligence, sensitivity and insight he is also bitter with the hypocrisy and ugliness that he perceives in the world around him. The vividness with which he expresses his discontent is seen manifested in the criticisms that Holden aims at various characters throughout the story. As the…show more content…

There is also a sense of self-consciousness that surrounds the hat as well. Holden never fails to mention when he is going to wear the hat and even removes the hat when he is going to be around people he knows, because "it was corny" but he "liked it that way." His self-consciousness of his hat therefore introduces a new component to the theme: Holden's want for isolation versus his desire for companionship.

As the novel progresses, we realize that ironically Holden's alienation becomes the source of most of his pain throughout the book. Although he never realizes the fact that his pain is being derived from his isolation and lack of human interaction, Salinger places clues in the book that tell us that it is so. With the introduction of Sally Hayes, Salinger is able to craft a relationship that effectively depicts the conflict in Holden. It is loneliness that initially propels Holden into a date with Sally. However, during the date Holden's need for isolation returns, he "didn't even know why" he "started all that stuff with her. The truth is" he "probably wouldn't have taken her even if she wanted to go." Because Sally is unable to recognize the feelings on the "phoniness" of school that he projects, he becomes frustrated and uses a rampaging monologue to upset her and drive her away. The only time in the

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