Catcher In The Rye Theme
Catcher In The Rye Theme

Catcher In The Rye Theme

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Catcher In The Rye Sample 1

Throughout the novel The Catcher in the Rye, the reader is presented with various symbols. These symbols are made evident by Holden’s constant repetition of their importance through his saying and experiences. Some important symbols that J. D. Salinger presents in his novel The Catcher in the Rye are his younger brother Allie’s baseball glove, the duck pond in central park, and the Museum of Natural History. These symbols are a large part in the novel. The symbols are important because the symbolism is directed related to the major themes of the novel.The first major symbol is Holden’s younger brother’s baseball glove. His brother’s glove was very important to Holden, especially since Holden cared for his little brother so much.

In addition, the baseball glove is important because it symbolizes Holden’s little brother Allie and how much he cared for him. For instance, Holden remembers the incidents from his past involving Allie, like his attitude, and the time when he wrote the composition about Allie's baseball glove.Holden also remembers the time he broke his hand after punching all of the windows after Allie died he said, "I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it". In addition, Holden finds his younger brother to be one of the few people who were not phony in a world of phonies.

The glove was also important because the glove represented the innocence and childhood that Holden constantly strived to find


throughout his journey. To Holden Allie is the purity that Holden is looking because he never grew up and lost his innocence.Holden even admits that he admired Allie more the Jesus and at one point he prayed to Allie. When Allie died, it started turbulence in Holden’s life and the baseball glove is one of the few things that gave him peace of mind. The second major symbol in the novel is the duck pond in Central Park. The duck pond is significant because during the winter when the water froze it caused Holden to inquire about the whereabouts of the ducks, which symbolizes Holden’s fear of the future and the unknown.

  • For instance, he says, “You know those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South?
  • That little lake?
  • By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over?
  • Do you happen to know, by any chance?

" As he inquires, the answers he receives range from as farfetched answers as the idea that the ducks still remain there under the ice, just as the fish do, to uncaring answers such as a simple "

  • What're ya tryna do, bud?
  • Kid me?

" However, no madder how many times he asked he never found a satisfactory answer.The duck pond is also important because it reminds Holden of him self. For instance, all the mistakes he made like he was kicked out of numerous schools, he lacks satisfactory grades, his parents are angry with him, and he spends his days wandering through New York City doing

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what ever he pleased and he does not know where he will go which is reflecting his question about the ducks from the pond and where they go during the winter. The third and final major symbol in the novel is the Museum of Natural History.The Museum of Natural History is important because it symbolizes Holden’s fear of change.

For instance, Holden says that he likes the glass cases that the museum officials place all of their exhibits in because he wishes that he could place parts of his life in glass cases so they would not change over time. In addition, another reason why he cared for the museum so much is when he was a child he enjoyed going to the museum because nothing would change behind the glass and going to the museum when he was older made everything to be as if it was his childhood again.However, his fear that the museum might have changed drives him away from the museum, which reflects his fear of change in his life and how he tries to run away from that too. So therefore in conclusion, The Catcher in the Rye has several symbols that are important because the symbolism is directed related to the major themes of the novel. One major symbol is Holden’s little brother’s baseball glove which symbolizes Holden’s younger brother and Holden’s love for his little brother.

The second major symbol is the duck pond in Central Park because it symbolizes his fear of the future and the unknown. The third major symbol in this novel is the Museum of Natural History which symbolizes Holden’s fear of change. These symbols illustrate the different themes that are trying to be shown and by using Holden’s experiences and sayings, the themes are made recognizable.

Catcher In The Rye Sample 2

Were you aware that in the recent year of 2010, over thirty-one thousand Americans died because of guns? This would be equal to more than eighty-five deaths each day, three deaths per hour. What is the leading death in the major state of Wyoming you may ask? This would be guns. Have you ever believed that guns have gone too out of control in the US because of the lack of background checks? Gun control laws must be more powerful in the United States. This is because these laws play an extraordinary role in the number of deaths in the recent years in the U.S., it is very easy for anyone to purchase a gun privately, and because people in the U.S. take advantage of the second amendment.

Tragic loses are occurring in the U.S. daily that involve guns. From using the most recent data, approximately 33,473 hearts have stopped working because of gun use. If gun control laws were more effective, this number would be plentiful lower. While some may argue that guns don’t kill people, but people kill people. Therefore, people are the cause of the deaths although they used guns. However, with stricter laws for gun use, those killers would find it much more difficult to get a hold of a gun and approach

the victim. The result of that would include a decrease in the annual amount of deaths. A harsher gun control law does not have much negatives, in fact it will just save many more lives.

Purchasing a gun is too easy in the US today. This is primarily because of the loopholes and lack of background checks. One loophole includes buying a gun from a private seller. In this scenario the background check isn’t required. States don’t care enough to try to make these private selling illegal and impossible and in all states. Although private selling is very hard to stop, there should be a law to enforce legal consequences for private selling. Criminals and crazy individuals find it very easy to purchase guns. In fact, 40% of the guns changing hands in America are transferred privately without a background check. This increases the chances of criminals to commit more crimes with these weapons. It is terrible to think that even the mentally ill are able to purchase a gun with a snap of their fingers because of private showings. America needs to step up and enforce laws for private selling.

Americans take advantage of the second amendment every day. Yes we have the right to bear arms and yes those rights cannot and will not be easily taken away. But the point of the matter is that we have those rights to protect ourselves from violence not cause more violence and deaths. These rights should be more concrete in each state. In other words, gun control laws should not be as open ended as they are today because of the second amendment. Reinforcement of laws will not only cause less violence but it will stop the confusion of these laws. Furthermore, I’m not stating that the second amendment will be not taken seriously but it is not a bad idea to take the second amendment in deeper consideration and make it stronger with the laws to create a better environment in our country.

There would there be more positives than negatives in creating stricter gun control laws. Less strict laws would just make the country worse. That’s why gun control laws must be stricter in the United States. This is because these laws play an extraordinary role in the number of deaths in the recent years in the U.S., it is very easy for anyone to purchase a gun privately, and because people in the U.S. take advantage of the second amendment. The U.S. needs to stop and think about our future with gun control.

Catcher In The Rye Sample 3

Holden Caulfied: Saint, Snob, or Somewhere In-between? Although J.D. Salinger has only one novel to his credit, that novel, The Catcher in the Rye, is recognized as an exceptional literary work. The key to the success of The Catcher in the Rye is the main character, Holden Caulfield. There are many different critics that view Holden in many different ways. Some believe Holden to be a conceited snob, while others see Holden as a Christ-like figure. It is my opinion, however, that Holden is somewhere in the


Holden Caulfield is a character who has a definite code of honor that he attempts to live up to and expects to as abide by as well. Since the death of his brother Allie, Holden has experienced almost a complete sense of alienation from the world around him. This alienation is evident in every part of his life. Holden is unable to relate to anyone at the three prep schools he has attended. While standing on Thomsen Hill, Holden cannot help but feel isolated when he observes the football game, "you were supposed to commit suicide or something if Old Pencey didnt win" (Salinger 2). Not only does Holden feel isolated at the schools he has attende, he has this feeling when it comes to his family as well. Upon his return to New York City, Holden does not go home. Instead, he chooses to hide out from his family. According to Ernest Jones, "with his alienation go assorted hatreds of movies, of night clubs, of social and intellectual pretension, and so on.

And physical disgust: pimples, sex, an old man picking his nose are all equal cause for nausea" (Jones 7). Holden feels Previts 2 as though all of these people have failed him in some way or that they are all "phonies" or "corny" in some way or another. It is Holdens perception of those around him as "phonies" and again according to Jones; "Holdens belief that he has a superior moral standard that few people, only his dead brother, his 10-year-old sister, and a fleeting friend Jane can live up to" that make him a snob.

Presenting Holden as "snobbish" hardly does him justice. Critics such Frederick L. Gwynn, Joseph L. Blotner, and Frederic I. Carpenter view Holden as a character who is "Christ-like in his ambition to protect children before they enter the world of destruction and phoniness" (Carpenter 24). Holdens experiences throughout the course of his life have created a desire in him to preserve the innocence of those he considers to be innocent. He attempts to physically overpower Stradlater when he realizes that Stradlater may have "screwed around" with Jane Gallagher, whom Holden considers to be innocent simply because she "plays checkers with more regard for the symmetry of the pieces on the board than for the outcome of the game"(Gwynn 13).

Along with Jane Gallagher, Holden wishes to protect his sister Phoebe, who is very much like Allie in that she has a mix of youthful innocence and generosity that overwhelms Holden. The best example of this generosity is when Holden is moved to tears because Phoebe gave him all of her Christmas money. Simple acts like this motivated Holden to want to be Christ-like. Holdens desire to be Christ-like is best evidenced in the following quotation: "Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.

Thousand of little kids, and nobodys around- nobody big, I mean, except me. And Im 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"

Previts 3 Not only is Holden Christ-like in his desire to protect those who are "innocent" but he, like Jesus, truly "loves his neighbors, especially the poor in goods, appearance, and spirit" (Gwynn 14).

Not only does Holden give ten dollars to the nuns in the station, but he is also depressed by their meagre breakfast and the fact that they will never be "going anywhere swanky for lunch" (Salinger 110). He also worries about the ducks freezing in Central Park, sympathizes with the ugly daughter of Penceys headmaster and even Sunny the prostitute (Carpenter 24). Perhaps the quality that is most Christ-like in Holden is his ability to "forgive like Jesus with his Judas, he Holden forgives Stradlater and the bellboy Maurice who have betrayed and beaten him" (Gwynn 14). Because of his compassion and ability to forgive others, Holden can also be viewed as a Christ-like figure. While there is evidence to support Holden as both a snob and a saint, I believe that Holden is a mix between the two.

The Catcher in the Rye is the choice of nine of ten murders, whackos, serial killers and, oddly enough, disgruntled teenagers. John Lennon was killed to promote this book. In the movie Silence of the Lambs, the serial killer John Hinkley was also a big Catcher in the Rye fan as well. The level of general craziness surrounding the book is so bad the movie Conspiracy Theory made it a running joke, even tracking the protagonist portrayed by Mel Gibson by monitoring purchases of The Catcher in the Rye. The reason that this book has a universal appeal to such a variety of people lies in the main character, Holden Caulfield.

He can be saintly or snooty, cynical or sincere. Holden is generous to charitable to nuns and protective or children, or be agitated at the "zit-encrusted" Ackely. Still yet, Holden is capable of being quite cynical, Previts 4 the best example of this is in the very opening of the book when Holden states, "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing youll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I dont feel like going into it, if you want to know that truth" (Salinger 1).

Despite his ability to be pejorative, Holden can still be able to be quite sincere. This is evident in his dealings with Phoebe. When Phoebe begins to cry, Holden first "wanted her to cry until her eyes practically dropped out. He almost hated her" (Salinger 207).

Yet, a few seconds later he wants to take Phoebe to the zoo and the park to assuage her pain. That is what I believe makes Holden Caulfied such a fascinating and widely admired character. One minute he can be bashing "phonies" then the next he will be acting "phoney" to a mother of a classmates as he was on the train to New York City. So, Holden is neither a saint nor a snob. He

is a sarcastic yet sincere teenager who is pursuing Quixotistic ideals of moral order. Holden is caught between the anxiety of childhood and the maturity of the adult world. The appeal of J.D. Salingers novel The Catcher in the Rye is due in no small part to the main character and sole provider of information, the one and only Holden Caulfied.

While some view Holden strictly as an elitist or as a Christ-like figure, I find Holden to a curious mix of the two. Holden is capable of displaying qualities associated with either at any moment throughout the novel. It is this mixture of qualities that makes Holden one of the most fascinating and popular characters in modern literature. Previts 5


  1. Carpenter, Frederic I. "The Adolescent in American Fiction" English Journal, 46, No.6 (September 1957): 315-6.
  2. Rpt. in Holden Caulfield ed. Harold Bloom.
  3. New York: Chelsea House, 1990. 24. Gwynn, Frederick L., Joseph L. Blotner. "The Catcher in the Rye" The Fiction of J.D. Salinger (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1958): 28-31.
  4. Rpt. in Holden Caulfield. ed. Harold Bloom
  5. New York: Chelsea House, 1990. 13-14
  6. Jones, Ernest "Case History of all of Us." Nation (September 1, 1951): p176.
  7. Rpt. in Holden Caulfield. ed. Harold Bloom
  8. New York: Chelsea House, 1990. 7
  9. Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye.
  10. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1951.

Catcher In The Rye Sample 4

To those whom it may concern, The recent debate on the banning of the popular book. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Slinger, from a public school is nothing new In the literary world. J. D. Clinger's novel Is the second most challenged book In history (Doyle) because of Its crude language, sexual references, and questionable content. In reality, Holder Is a character to be respected for his rash views on the world and the political madness of it all.

Holder may not always have the most moral ideas, granted he's a teenage ay and their thoughts are never the most moral and innocent. The wish to keep your child's innocence protected by shielding her from such literature is understandable, though it's equally important to remember the reality of the situation, and that the elimination of the questionable scenes would have taken the importance from the book. The Catcher in the Rye is a lesson within itself of morality and the teenagers of America, and should continue to be taught in the Fernando School District.

Fitting into society Is hard these days, and with the high expectations and the deed to conform, many of today's youth are like Holder In their wish to be their own person, but unable find happiness In their culture with the constant criticisms for their choices and personality. Holder Is "the first Image of middle class youth growing up absurd" according to John Hayden In his book Reunion. In other words, Holder has captured the spirit of thousands of Americans suppressed by the confines of conformity. Every school has its "lonely crowd of imitation Holders" (Irishman especially Fernando.

In the Halls of Fernando High school roam students very much like Holder: the losers or future

drop outs that represent Holder's hatred of institutional confines; the wacky dressers who don clothing relative to Holder's red hunting hat in expressing their own emotions; the wand-Bess who Just wish to fit in like Holder but fail; the loner group who take in the unsociable and integrate them Into their group so effortlessly; and finally the overly-critical students who see the "phoniness" in anything. Because of this, Holder's character suits almost any person, making It the ultimate relatable book for high school students.

Although Holder is a boy, girls can also relate to him due to the authors careful writing. Girls adapt and relate to the characters better than boys do. As popular author David Irishman said, "In the literary marketplace, readers aren't turned off or away if the central characters are male but only if they are female. How many Boy Scouts and Explorer Scouts have been moved by ready The Bell Jar? " A girl can more easily adjust herself to place herself in the position of a boy than a boy can a girl, because "boys are frustrated their not cowboys, and girls are frustrated their not soy" (Irishman).

In other words, boys want to be more manly and girls want to Just be treated like a man. Men can't adjust to see themselves In a character of another gender but girls can see traits of themselves In anyone. Anyone can read this book and relate. Holder Is basically a gender neutral character showing traits that everyone has and being relatable for every audience, especially In a high school atmosphere. Sadly, Holder's shocking language NAS persuade many parent's to senses TN children from his popular book.

A parent in Boron California announced a powerful sausage to the school board hoping to ban the book, "They say it describes reality, I say lets back up from reality. Let's go backwards. Let's go back to when we didn't have an immoral society' (Concerned Parent in CA). An immoral society, she said, was what the book was preaching of, but why should children be exposed to more of it in their school rooms?

The church too has taken a stance against The Catcher in the Rye and its immoralities. Riley Hughes from the Catholic World Journal stated that The Catcher in the Rye "used the Lord's name in vain two hundred times-enough to ban it eight then. It is undeniable that Holder likes the word goddamn and that the book involves many curse words and questionable material. The book is not at all appropriate for children in the elementary grades, and maybe not even appropriate for any age to read in a school environment. It is undeniable that Holder's language is somewhat crude and immoral, but the message that he speaks is undeniably moral and Just. If parent's would truly look into the book and read it, they would see that Holder is actually on their side, and that Slinger Just wanted to capture the profuse adolescent profanity in the worst way (Whitfield).

Holder is on the same side as the censor-frenzied parent's in his wish to protect the

innocence of the youth. The inevitable mention of the F-Word being used in the book, is simply more proof of Holder's dislike for swearing, as he attempts to efface it from the walls and is sad when he sees this and mentions that Mimi can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any' (Slinger). In Conclusion, if "Holder's language had been sanitized the moral resistance would have failed, and Holder would not have en Holder.

The pureness of his unsanitary lingo makes him memorable and therefore the novel distinctive" (Whitfield). Despite the controversy over Holder's morals, he is a character to be honored. Holder is a diamond in the rough, he may seem immoral and untrustworthy, but he is trying to sanitize America in a twisted way. At surface level he may seem crazy, rude and a little sadistic even, but if a closer look is given, the reader will see that Holder "befriends the friendless, respects those who are humble, loyal, and kind, demonstrates a strong love for his family and boors hypocrisy (Edwards).

Besides that, "he values sex that comes from caring for another person and rejects its sordidness. And, finally, he wants to be a responsible member of society, to guide and protect the younger than he. "Holder is someone anyone should hope their children to mimic the good in, the society he portrays is almost better than the society of today! The Catcher in the Rye has personally given me a new view on America, and the phoniness of the society we live in, a society in which everyone adheres to a strict, unwritten set of 'rules'.

To keep this literature way from the youth will certainly not benefit them in anyway. The world is a crude, immoral place, why should the truth be hidden from the youth? Why not expose them to it early in life so they can determine how to handle it when they need to handle it? Keeping The Catcher in the Rye in Fernando Public Schools is a bold move, a move Holder might not even make for the sake of his sister's innocence, but remove yourself from society confines and fight for what you believe is right. Fight for keeping The Catcher in the Rye in Fernando Schools.

Catcher In The Rye Sample 5

In J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, the first person narration is critical in helping the reader to know and understand the main character, Holden Caulfield. 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 feelings.

He thus provides the reader not only with information of what occurred, but also how he felt about what happened. Holden's thoughts and ideas reveal many of his character traits. One late Saturday night, four days before the beginning of school vacation, Holden is alone, bored and restless, wondering what to do. He decides to leave Pencey, his school, at once and travels to New York by train.

He decides that,

once in New York, he will stay in a cheap motel until Wednesday, when he is to return home. His plan shows the reader how very impetuous he is and how he acts on a whim. He is unrealistic, thinking that he has a foolproof plan, even though the extent of his plans are to "take a room in a hotel.., and just take it easy till Wednesday." Holden's excessive thoughts on death are not typical of most adolescents. His near

obsession with death might come from having experienced two deaths in his early life. He constantly dwells on Allie, his brother's, death. From Holden's thoughts, it is obvious that he loves and misses Allie. In order to hold on to his brother and to minimize the pain of his loss, Holden brings Allie's baseball mitt along with him where ever he goes. The mitt has additional meaning and significance for Holden because Allie had written poetry, which Holden reads, on the baseball mitt. Holden's preoccupation with death can be seen in his contemplation of a dead classmate, James Castle. It tells the reader something about Holden that he lends his turtleneck sweater to this classmate, with whom

he is not at all close. Holden's feelings about people reveal more of his positive traits. He constantly calls people phonies, even his brother, D.B., who " has sold out to Hollywood." Although insulting, his seemingly negative feelings show that Holden is a thinking and analyzing, outspoken individual who values honesty and sincerity. He is unimpressed with people who try to look good in other's eyes. Therefore, since it is obvious that Holden is bright, the reason for his flunking out of school would seem to be from a lack of interest. Holden has strong feelings of love towards children as evidenced through his caring for Phoebe, his little sister. He is protective of her, erasing bad words from the walls in her school and in a museum, in order that she not learn from the graffiti. His fondness for children can be inferred when

he tells her that, at some time in the future, he wants to be the only grown-up with "all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all." He'll stand on the edge of a cliff and catch anybody who starts to fall off the edge of the cliff. He got this image from his  isinterpretation of a line from the Robert Burns poem, " if a body catch a body comin' through the rye." When situations are described, in person or in a book, they are influenced by the one who describes them, and by his or her perceptions and experiences. Through Holden's expressions of his thoughts and feelings, the reader sees a youth, sensitive to his surroundings, who chooses to deal with life in unique ways. Holden is candid, spontaneous, analytical, thoughtful, and sensitive, as evidenced by his narration. Like most adolescents, feelings about

people and relationships are often on his mind. Unfortunately, in Holden's case, he seems to expect the worst, believing that the result of getting close to people is pain. Pain

when others reject you or pain when they leave you, such as when a friend walks off or a beloved brother dies. It would not have been possible to feel Holden's feelings or understand his thoughts nearly as well had the book been written in third person.

Catcher In The Rye Sample 6

A novel, which has gained literary recognition worldwide, scrutiny to the point of censorship and has established a following among adolescents, The Catcher in the Rye is in its entirety a unique connotation of the preservation of innocence and the pursuit of compassion. With certain elegance the writer J.D. Salinger, substantiates the growth and perils, which lie between childhood and adulthood.

Embellishing the differentiation between innocence and squalor in the grasps of society. The bridge that lies between these contrasting themes are personified through the novels protagonist, Holden Caul-field and his visualization of a cliff, which depicts a dividing point between the evident beginning and end. The connection, which binds this gap in reality, was made clear through a new found compassion, consummating Holdens place in society through the realization of his surroundings from which he successfully crosses over.

Focusing on the rebellious and confused actuality of adolescents stuck between the innocence of childhood and the corruptness of the adult world, this novel strikes a cord, which most adolescents can relate. The essence of the story The Catcher in the Rye follows the forty-eight hour escapade of sixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield, told through first person narration.

After his expulsion from Pency, a fashionable prep school, the lat-est in a long line of expulsions, Holden has a few confrontations with his fellow students and leaves shortly after to return to his hometown, New York City. In the heart of New York City, Holden spends the following two days hiding out to rest before confronting his parents with the news. During his adventures in the city he tries to renew some old acquaintances, find his significance in the adult world, and come to grips with the head-aches he has been having lately.

Eventually, Holden sneaks home to visit his sister Phoebe, because alone on the streets he feels as if he has no where else to turn. Children are the only people with whom Holden can communicate with throughout the novel, not because they can help him with his growing pains but because they remind him of a simpler time (his inno-cence), which he wishes he could return.

The trials of the adult world wear down Holdens vision of a place in society, portraying innocence as a form of retreat from a confusing world. On the subject of innocence and symbolism thereof, which is repre-sented through Holdens thoughts and actions, S.N. Behrman writes: "Holdens difficulties affect his nervous system but never his vision. It is the vision of an innocent. To the lifeline of this vision he clings invinci-bly, as he does to a phonograph record he buys for Phoebe (till it breaks) and a red hunting cap that is dear to him and that he finally gives to Phoebe, and to Allies baseball glove." Understanding Holdens notion of innocence and the role it plays throughout the novel

helps to put in tune the underlying message found in Holdens description of the catcher in the rye.

"I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobodys around--nobody big, I mean- except me. And Im 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 theyre running and they dont look where theyre going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. Thats all Id do all day. Id just be the catcher in the rye and all." (Pg. 173)

The princi-ple of the catcher in the rye is a means for Holden to devote his life to the protection of innocence. The significance of the catcher image lies in three areas of thought as implied by B. Ramachandra Rao:

  • "First of all, it is a savior image, and shows us the extent of Holdens re-ligious idealism.
  • Secondly, it crystallizes for us Holdens concept of good and evil; childhood is good, the only pure good, but it is surrounded by perils, the cliff of adolescence over which the children will plunge in the evil of adulthood unless stopped.

But finally, the image is based on a mis-understanding. The Burns poem goes If a body meet a body not if a body catch a body, and the fact that Phoebe is aware of this and Holden is not, plus the manner in which these two words (catch and meet) are re-examined and re-interpreted by Holden at the end of the novel, shows us in a powerful and deeply suggestive way the center of Holdens diffi-culty." Holdens view of life as it is and the way life should be is based on a misunder-standing of mans place in society. Having difficulty coming to grips with this misunder-standing, Holden crosses a threshold.

Later he fatefully comes in contact with his sister once again, at the Central Park carrousel in the final scene of the novel. At the sight of his sister he is overcome by a love for all people when he sees how much his sister cares about him. Domenic Bruni, incorporates this theme in his statement: "Holden has accepted a new positionan undiscriminating love for all mankind. He even expresses that he misses all the people who did wrong to him... He is not mature enough to know what to do with this love, but he is mature enough to accept it. In this world, realizing what is squalor and what is good, and loving it all is the first step in achieving identity and humility: compassion is what Holden learns." The foretelling of the story ends abruptly but we learn that Holden in the end goes out west and is seeking psychological treatment in California.

Through his recovery and the experiences of those two lonely days, he gains compassion towards everyone, in-cluding himself. While his vision of the catcher in the rye was a hope, a dream, and a job Holden realizes that such a dream is impractical in the world.

Although innocence is not lost in Holdens case, it is apparent that it was only passed by but by facing the world and loving it indiscriminately, such compassion will fill his need for acceptance and place in the world. Substantially giving Holden an admission into society and the acceptance of the responsibilities of adulthood.

Salinger, is an American author, who controversially dared to cross the line of literary standards. In his first and only novel The Catcher in the Rye, proved to be Salingers most important and influential literary work, establishing him as a leading author and cultural icon. As the popularity of his novel grew, Salinger became increasingly reclusive and has incidentally avoided the public eye for over thirty years. Under an apparent cloak of secrecy, the real story of Salinger lies incomplete and myste-rious. Although much about his life is uncertain, it is clear that Salinger was born on January 1 1919 in New York, New York, the second child and only son of Sol and Miriam Salinger. Since much of Salingers early days are clouded and unknown, the only link to his apparent adolescence is through the statement that his "boyhood was very much the same as that of the in the book."

Salinger attended public schools on Manhattans upper West Side and during his high school years he transferred to the pri-vate McBurney School, where he flunked out after one year. In 1934, his father enrolled him at Valley Forge Military Academy, a private prep school in Pennsylvania. After graduation in 1936, Salinger enrolled in a short-story writing course at Columbia Univer-sity in New York and began publishing some of his short stories. Salinger was inducted into the service in 1942, at the age of twenty-three, the following year, he was transferred to the Counter-Intelligence Corps and later joined the American Forth Division, he landed on Utah Beach five hours after the initial assault on D-Day. After the war, Salin-ger began publishing again and featured his stories in the Saturday Evening Post and Colliers. By 1951, Salinger has established his reputation exclusively in The New Yorker and the popularity of his work was emerging among college students.

And so, he re-leased The Catcher in the Rye, after working on and off on it for ten years. Although it was not an immediate hit it did give Salinger an increasing critical praise and respect. Eventually, as critical acclaim grew, the letters, autograph seekers, and interview-ers began hunting him down and so he became annoyed and moved to Cornish, New Hampshire, where he has lived ever since. While secluding himself from the rest of the world Salinger began work on Nine Stories, which includes a number of published short stories and introduces

the Glass family, the central figures of his later works. Nine Sto-ries was published in 1953, after which Salinger published four lengthy short stories about the problems of the extremely bright and overly sensitive children of the Glass family. The books in this short story collection include Franny and Zooey (1961), and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction (1963).

Catcher In The Rye Sample 7

The theme that the

world has an outward appearance that seems fair and perfect but really they're as Holden put it "phonies." This is shown countless amount of times in his journey through New York and even before he left. The setting is in the 1950's; so I'm pretty sure that he didn't encounter any transvestites, lesbians, or anything that extreme of phoniest. Or on the other hand he could have liked them for being as Elmemson said a "none conformist." But I doubt it, he seemed to like kids more than anything.

And his job, as he felt, was to protect them in their innocents; of which I will talk about in my second theme. The first example that stands out in my mind is the scene with Stradlater in the "can." If you remember Stradlater was getting ready for his other date while Holden watched him. "Stradlater was a secret slob" in public he always looked good and got all the girls but in fact he was a slob. His razor that made him look so good was "rusty as hell and full on lather and hair and crap." This proves that he is a slob to "never clean it or anything."

If you think about it that's even worst than Old Ackley. At least Ackley knew that he had a problem, that he need to do something about his face; but Stradlater thought that he was a great guy. He actually thought that there was nothing wrong with never washing his razor. I think that what mad, Holden so made Stradlater was perpetrating in other word being "phony" every time he went out all GQ after using that filthy razor. Another instance is when he calls that girl in New York, Faith Cavendish, that Eddie Birdsell had brought to a dance at Princeton. Anyway he called her and she almost went off until Holden drooped Eddie's name.

Then all of a sudden "she was getting friendly as hell." The same person said "if you think I enjoy bein' woke up in the middle-" was "getting an english accent all of a sudden." I think Holden caught her with her faade down. When she first picked up the phone she was mad as anybody else would be in her shoes. But as soon as she processed "Eddie Birdsell from Princeton" she became so amicable. She most of thought that a friend of Eddie, from Princeton, most have been rich or at lest well off. Faith was all ready to hook up with him for a date until she asked "Where ya callin' from? Where ya at now, anyways?" And "in a phone booth" was the wrong answer.

When he said that she new he had no money and from that point on she had no time to meet up any more. This is a good example of the phoniest that Holden will talk about all through book. Oh and one I almost missed it is a little before the conversation with Faith it is a very important event. Salinger had Holden look about of the window I think it was a big simile, of which I

think about more in theme number 3, of the theme of the book. I'm sure Holden didn't ride all the way to New York to pick a run down hotel.

So I take it when he drove up it probably looked good on the outside. He even "took it off referring to the red hunting hat before I checked inI didn't want to look like a screwball or something." So we can assume it was nice, or at lest on the outside. Salinger even throw Holden foreshadowed a little in the line "I didn't know then that the goddam hotel was full of perverts and morons."

The first guy he saw out his room window "took out all these women's clothes, and put them on." Then he started walking around like a women, smoking a cigarette, and looking in the mirror. And now I guest I have to take back my sentence about transvestites in the opening paragraph.

Second he saw a couple squiring water and "they were in hysterics the whole time," a little strange. You see the outside of the hotel represents what society is or tries to be, all nice and neat. And the people acting silly in the rooms are what we a really like. Im not saying we are all perverts but we all have two different personalities, one outside and one inside closed doors. Since I'm will into the second page and it's past my bed time or at lest it feels like it is this is the last one for this theme. The one I had in mind is the one the date he had with Sally.

From the jump she was phony. Holden had already talked to her dad and told him how it was, but she still asked how it was. Holden when call her "quite a little phony," she even sounded phony through the book with lines like "I'd love to grand." And when they got through with the play on the Lunts it didn't get any better. They ran into this guy that Sally knew and both of their phoniest began to shine. "You've though that they hadn't seen each other for twenty years" they probably even hugged and kissed checks and all. And the funny thing is that "they probably met each other only once." And from that point on they went on a quest to outname the other. "They both kept thinking of places as fast as they could" trying to get the upper-hand in a game of illusion.

They both were trying to, I guest, show they are more popular than the other by making it seem like they known all these places and people, when in actuality they were two big phonies. The next Theme of this story that I want to talk about is the significance of the novel's title. First of all I have to say why the book was entitle as it was "The Catcher in the Rye." The title of the book is a mystery all the way until chapter 21 when he sneaked back home to see Phoebe. When Phoebe fronted him about getting kicked

out of school again saying "you don't like anything" Holden was forced to come up with something he would enjoy to be or do. After minutes of pondering Holden said "I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all." He just wanted to save the little innocent kids from falling. The kids I think represent the innocents of the young just playing and when they fall off the cliff they discover the world. He wants to protect them and keep them pure will. All through the story Salinger used Holden as the catcher on the rye to protect or try to protect the innocents of kids.

The biggest and most memorial of this protection is when he went to Phoebe elementary school to talk to her before he had to leave. Anyway he saw the word fuck you on the hall walls and "it drove him dam near crazy." He couldn't stand the idea that Phoebe or her friend had seen that on the wall. If they saw it they would wonder and eventually "some dirty kid would tell them" and they would know the cruel the world thus falling in the rye. As his duty as the catcher in the rye Holden tried to erase the first one that was on the walls, but later said "it's hopeless anyway. If you had a million years to do it in, you couldn't rub out even half the fuck you signs in the world. Its impossible." Now I think the word tragedy goes right there. If the job that Holden is set out to do is inevitable then it's a tragedy. Salinger illustrates a full blown tragedy with a 15 year old boy; it sounds a lot like the classic we read last year Romeo and Juliet. A young boy, even the same age, is placed in a no win situation. The next one I just thought about is the time Holden got a snow ball off the window cell.

This has nothing to go with protecting but it is about purity. Holden got some show from off the window pan and he "started to throw it" but after looking out at the scene he decides not to. He said he stared it throw it at a car and fire hydrogen but they looked "too nice and white." Holden is consumed with finding and protecting purity, and when he found something pure he didn"t want to disturb it. But it's strange how he used the words "nice and white," I know that the snow was white but is there something more there. White is often associated with pure and even holiness. He may be comparing it to a holy site; because he does ask Ackley about joining later in the book. You never know. Theme number three is going to be a discussing about Salinger and his symbolism. Salinger is a master of the subtle symbolism. He lays his symbols so subtle that most of the time they're not even found or addressed even by a commentary over the book. I really enjoyed reading and rereading this book to find embedding symbols.

I think that's what made it so good.

A very important character that is referred to all throgh the story by Holden is Allie. Allie is Holder's younger brother who died of leukemia when he was just thirteen. Holden loved his brother more than anything and when he died he punched out all the windows in the garage. He said that "my hand still hurts me once in a while." This is symbolic of the love he had and still has for his little brother; he even quotes latter that "you don't stop loving someone because they die" proving that he still cares for him. He may even think he had something to do with his death or he caused it. Sometimes little kids think stuff like that. Holden also says that " I can't make a real fist any more-not a tight one." If his fist represents his love for his brother or his heart than maybe he can't love again. When he meet up with Sally he said he felt like marring her than he discards it by saying "I don't even like her much." Holden is afraid to love again because of the way his heart and fist was broken by Allie. Another symbol is his own sister Phoebe. First you must understand that Phoebe came from the Greek word meaning Sun. Holden is lost in the world and feels that everything is "phony." Phoebe is his symbol of hope in the world.

All Holden needs is hope. Just as the sun comes out and shines it's beautiful color and truth to the world to nurrshish and feed the plant; so did Phoebe come with her innocent hands saving Holden from the world. "The first thing I did when I got off at Penn station, I went into this phone booth." Holden first started to call his brother but then he thought of his sitter Phoebe, then he whet on about her and how she wouldn't mind being woke up. All through the book he will think about call and eventually sneak home just to see her. This shows he sees her as his only light in this world of phonies hint the name Phoebe Greek for sun. I read a very interesting point in a book review about The Catcher in the Rye that explains the Holden behavior all through the book. In short it said his activities "describes a developing nervous breakdown." And if you think of the symptoms you would a agree.

Unexplained depression, show countless time in the story as "I felt depressed as hell." And the why that Salinger keep using the world depressed, not bad or mellow but depressed he may have been hinting at it. Impulsive spending, that is obvious through the fact he only had "3 dollars and some change" after just 2 days in New York. Erratic behavior, example is Holden just jumping up and put Stradlater in a "half Nelson." All of this is prior to his eventual nervous collapse. This book has been a joy to read. Holden was very funny at times especially when he called Sally to

ask her about "trim a tree" for Christmas. Salinger is ether a great writer or he just lucked up this good of a story. Sometimes I wonder if the author of books always think as deep as the reader. I mean do authors read a commentary over a book they wrote and say, hmm I didn't think of that. Writers like Edgar Allen are obvious that they have a deeper meaning. But with Salinger it's hard to tell if this is a simple story of a boy rebelling or is it a great big metaphor for the world and how we are. Now if you ask him I,m sure he would say "oh that's what meant exactly," and he might as well have meant that; but who is to say.

Catcher In The Rye

Holden's Breif Happiness Abbreviated Happiness After Holden Caulfield returns to his native New York and rents a room in a sleezy hotel, he makes a date with Sally Hayes. Before this date, Holden finds himself wanderin the streets of the naked city. He is feeling depressed and finds himself on Broadway trying to purchase a record for his sister. After making this purchase, Holden notices a poor family walking in front of him. This unit is composed of a father, mother, and "little kid." Holden notices the child who is walking in a straight line in the street and humming a tune to himself. Holden approaches him to determine the tune he is singing. This tune is "If a Body Catch a Body Coming Through the Rye." Holden finds it amusing that the child is strutting quite literally on Broadway and is so care-free. He notices cars screeching and honking all over the place, and yet the child proceeds. The child's happy disposition seems encourage Holden's on vitality. It gripped Holden that the child was singing with "a pretty little voice...just for the hell of it" and brightened him up. A deeper interpertation of this scene would dictate that the child represents Holden's own personality and life. Holden is defenatley singing his own tune just for the hell of it and like the child, seems to have no regard for his own well-being. At this point, Holden may see a side in himself that is care-free and this lightens his depression.

Catcher In The Rye Sample 8

Turning your back on the world is not good

A major theme of J.D. Salingers novel, The Catcher in the Rye, is turning your back on the world is not good. The teenage boy Holden Caulfield demonstrates this theme in the story with the constant negativity he receives as result of his negative attitude.

When someone turns their back on the world the consequences are bad. Holden shows this by slacking off leading to his expulsion from school. They gave me frequent warning to start applying myselfbut I didnt do it. So I got the ax. Holden proves this theme once more by vandalizing in a fit of rage over the death of his little brother Allie. I was only thirteenI broke all the windows in the garage. Even when Holden does not express his

negativity physically he expresses them mentally. Im always saying Glad tove met you to somebody Im not at all glad I met. I felt more depressed much more depressed than sexy. When a young man turns his back on sex there is definitely something wrong. Even chances for great friendships are ruined when Holden turns his back on a former roommate. But I roomed with him for about two whole months, even though he bored me till I was half crazy, just because he was such a terrific whistler. A chance for romance is ruined also when Holden is annoyed by the supposed inane conversation of his date Sally. You give me a royal pain in the ass The characters in the book are not oblivious to the fact of Holdens back turning and negativity.

Holdens little sister Phoebe could see that he turned his back on school after Holden sneaked in her room early for holiday break. You did get kicked out! His old teacher and good friend Mr. Antolini saw that he had a tendency to turn his back on the world too. I can very clearly see you dying nobly, one way or another, for some highly unworthy cause. Holden finally realizes too that turning his back on people isnt good. Dont ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.

All the examples of Holdens back turning in the story show how negativity pushes people away. It teaches people to be optimistic and open about yourself, others, and society as a whole. No society is perfect but try to make the most of it. When people turn their backs on the world the consequences are harsh because when the day comes that you need help, theyll turn their backs on you. If people looked at the world in a more positive light there would be less people thinking their life and the world is a bitch and less people would think of suicide.