Holden Caulfield

“The Catcher in the Rye”: How Does Holden’s Past Affect Him

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

The past’s absolute effect on humanity serves as the foundation of both crisis and opportunity. Yet, most typically notice the effects of the past when personal sacrifices are made and loss is involved, thus characterizing themselves as victims of the past. Holden Caulfield, who is the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, portrays himself as a victim of his past due to the death of his younger brother Allie and the suicide of James Castle. While said occurrences hinder him in his efforts of closely relating to those around him, they are also the sources of his unfamiliarity when placed in difficult situations such as interacting intimately with another person or even trying to remember the positive aspects of his life. As a result of these occurrences, he often questions the merit of those around him in both society and school, which ultimately leads to him making bad decisions as they are mostly the result of his depression.

The death of Holden’s brother Allie was the event that gave him a great deal of distaste for those around him throughout the story because it made him devoid of the ability to find happiness or comfort with nearly everyone as they were all pieces of Holden’s ideal and unrealistic world. He portrays Allie as a virtuous human being who is somehow free of ever losing his innocence while giving him nothing but praise. His dark and empty feelings of adulthood presented in The Catcher in the Rye reflect notable examples of denial of even having a coming of age experience such as “I know he’s dead! Don’t you think I know that? I can still like him though, can’t I?” (222-223). This section rests on the idea that a potential solution for coping with traumatic experiences such as the death of his brother would be the task of reconnecting with his little sister as a much needed form of closure, the person that Holden also talks about several times throughout the book with the utmost praise. Holden’s way of responding to his brother’s death every time he randomly thinks about him serves as the driving force for his internal conflict being how to cope with his loss. It was suggested throughout the novel that the main conflict was how he would manage to live on his own until Wednesday so that his parents would not know of his expulsion, yet his internal conflicts seem to carry more meaning. In the same way that Allie’s remembrance might function as a trigger for Holden’s depression, causing him to question his own value, the recollection of James Castle’s suicide was enough to prompt Holden to question his own innocence equally as much as the innocence of those around him.

Much like Allie’s death, the suicide of James Castle functions as a reminder that innocence is not a permanent aspect of someone’s life. James Castle was Holden’s former classmate who jumped out of a window after being beaten into submission by several others. Holden in a peculiar turn of events mentioned that he somehow felt close to James though he never truly knew him: “All I knew about him was that his name was always ahead of me at roll call” (222). This idea that innocence is temporary fuels Holden’s hatred for a life without purity or adulthood. Due to the fact that he can no longer keep his innocence, he makes an attempt to preserve Phoebe’s at the end of the novel, thus seemingly rectifying the mistake that he made with Allie before he died. Although it is less recurring, Holden’s recollection of James Castle’s death is an example of how quickly a person can be stripped of his innocence either by experiencing an unfortunate event or merely witnessing one.

In summation, the past can have a very important effect on humanity due to its role as the driving force for the good or bad decisions of many. However, in Holden’s case, he uses the events of his past such as the death of his younger brother Allie and the suicide of James Castle as well as his profound guilt to make an effort to better the life of his younger sister rather than simply telling her the truth about the many taxing aspects of life, thus preserving her innocence.

Essay Score 15/20

Focus

2/4

Organization

3/4

Voice

4/4

Sentence Structure

3/4

Evidence and Details

3/4

More about grading

The introduction provides sufficient background for the topic. However, a strong thesis statement is missing.
The body has been divided according to the main points. The evidence has been cited, but none of the citations contain the author’s name.
The conclusion provides the overall essence of the essay.
Few errors in punctuation were identified.

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The Question of “Who I Am” in “The Catcher in the Rye”

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Initially, it seems like a straight forward simple answer. I would normally start off by listing my age, nationality, religious belief, what school I attend, what I do for a living and so on. But does that truly define who I am? Once I sat and started thinking about it, I realized the question was more complicated than I initially thought it would be. So who am I?

I think for the most part I am a very easy going. I am a pretty easy person to get along with. I usually tend to have an optimistic outlook of life. And I always mad it my hardest to try making the right decision. I am self-determined, If I want something, I would try my ultimate best to do so. I am shy at first, but once I start opening up it’ll be hard for you to shut me up. Another is that I’m always up for a challenge. I was always one to step out of comfort zone. I like to experience new things. The way I look at it, is… That there is so much to life. Why shouldn’t you be more open to try new thing? You never know you like something unless you try. For instance, I was terrified of the pools. The idea of jumping in pool that’s twelve feet… forget about it. My girlfriend pushed me to take a swimming class at queens college. I was up for a challenge. How hard could it be, I thought. Oh boy, was it hard.

On the very first day we were told to jump in the deep side of pool. Now you can only imagine what going inside my head. I could barely swim. I realized that it wasn’t that bad. Anyways, to this day swimming turned into 2 one of my hobbies. I’m no Micheal Phelps but I really enjoy it. This semester I’m taking this scuba diving class, so hopefully soon I can go diving in the reefs of some tropical island. Life is like a roller coaster, you got its ups and downs. Sometimes in life we can end up in situations than can be very difficult. No you either handle it by flight, fight, or assimilate. Whenever I get myself in a hard situation I do either or. For instance, if there’s any problem I always assimilate the situation. I try to understand the problem fully. Then I’ll act according to. If I fully believe that I’m doing the right thing, I’ll stick to what I believe in and fight. But if I feel as if I don’t want to bother with resolving my problems I might just try to run away from it entirely. This is where I can relate to Holden Caulfield, from the book “The Catcher in the Rye. ” Throughout the book he’s quickly get disappointed with every turn life give him and continues to run away from his problems. I’ve always tried to figure myself out throughout the years. The questions of “Who am I” was very complex in my eyes. In high school, I always struggles to figure out who I am. I always tend to ask myself “What I wanted to do with my life?” In high school, I always tried to keep up with this cool guy image. I always tried to impress everyone. Try to fit in, hang out with the cool kids, be the most liked guy in school. But if someone disliked me I move mountains for them to see otherwise. If someone told me I didn’t like the way I dressed, I changed it. If someone thought I laughed weird, I try to laugh different. I would change myself to make sure that one person can think otherwise of me. It was stupid, now that I look at it. It took me some time to see 3 that I was defining myself with how others viewed me as. But the only person that should know who you are is you. I don’t think you should ever change yourself for anyone. You are, who you are.

In my teens, I always wanted to grow up faster than I actually should. I took my first job at age sixteen. The way I looked at was, I’ll gain experience of the real world and get some cash. Thought it would fun. Oh boy, was wrong. I realized quite fast that the world was filled with Holden called “Phonies. ” For myself I wanted to grow up, and grow up fast. But for Holden is was quite opposite. I believe he wanted to resist the process of maturity. For example, his trip to the Museum of Natural History he shows that he fears change. “The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’s move …Nobody’s be different. The only thing that would be different would be you. ” The museums displays appeal to him because they a frozen and never change. I think Holden fears the fact of change and maturity. This was a reoccurring issue for Holden. He was afraid of adulthood.

Another part of the book where I think Holden is trying to figure himself out and his circumstance is the ducks in central park lagoon. He asked this questions a number of times throughout this novel. Holden wanted know where these ducks go when its winter. I think the ducks prove that vanishing is only temporary. I think Holden is still traumatized of the death of his brother Allie. I think he uses this duck leaving the lagoon to help him with his situation. I think Holden is terrified of change and disappearance. This shows that change isn’t permanent. Who I am today, would be different from who I am in ten years. Who I am is always changing, I will always be learning, and evolving.

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Holden Caulfield and the Immaturity in Expressed in the Catcher in the Rye by J.d. Salinger

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Catcher in the Rye

Holden Caulfield should not be allowed to reach an emancipated status due to his imbalanced thoughts, reckless way in life, and bouts of depression. Mr. Caulfield does not have a steady lifestyle and is not mature enough to make his own decisions as an adult should. He is concerned with trivial items and does not care about his future. He is also unconcerned about his finances and is very impulsive; he does not care about the consequences of his actions.

Mr. Caulfield is still a child, no matter how adult he would like to seem. His actions and thoughts show him to be reckless and take unnecessary risks. He needs guidance to help him along, and needs to be shown how to behave and to conform to social norms as an average citizen should. He is very reckless, not recognizing danger when it is right in front of him, and antagonizing others, causing a situation to go from bad to worse. “You’re a dirty moron…and in about two years you’ll be on of those scraggy guys that come up to you on the street and ask for a dime for coffee.” (103) This is a perfect example of how Mr. Caulfield does not perceive danger and further incites the ire of others, even when they have the upper hand. He clearly does not understand that he can be hurt if he says things like this and that his actions have consequences.

Mr. Caulfield is strangely interested in the most trivial of things. He is interested in where the ducks of central park go in the winter. He almost obsessively seeks the answer to this question. He goes as far as to ask a random cab driver his question. His mind is devoted to finding the answer to this plight, but he refuses to use his intelligence on the subjects in school? He refuses to touch his textbooks and excel in his studies, and doesn’t care about his future. His ridiculous idea of a job is being a catcher of the rye, “I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.” (173) such ridiculous sentiments are something only seen in a child, not an adult.

Holden is wholly unconcerned with is life. He does not think things through or acknowledge the consequences of his action. He doesn’t understand repercussions of everything he does and is financially incapable in purchasing, which all adults should be able to do. He is also, at moments, having bouts of depression. “Somebody, some girl in an awful-looking hat, for instance, comes all the way to New York … Radio City Music Hall; it makes me so depressed I can’t stand it. I’ve bought the whole three of them a hundred drinks if only they hadn’t told me that.” (50) His fixation on trivial things also shows his immaturity in understanding. Overall Holden Caulfield is more child than adult, no matter how much he claims to not be immature.

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The Real Holden in “The Catcher in the Rye”

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Catcher in the Rye, Holden feels isolated partly because he lives in such a confined circle. All his schoolmates are rich, privileged kids with narrow worldviews, but, ironically, he’s also too rich and privileged to connect with anyone who isn’t like him. Holden’s recurring quality is that he is isolating himself from society as a whole. Throughout the book, as Holden meets people, he seems to push them away. However, in reality, he’s pushing himself away. The first example we see in the book of Holden isolating himself is at the football game. It’s a Saturday afternoon, the whole school is at the game and he is alone. “Anyway, it was the Saturday of the football game.

I remember around 3 o’clock that afternoon I was standing way the hell up on the top of Thomsen Hill (Salinger, pg.2). In the passage, you can see that while everyone is down at the game which he mentions “is the most important” since it’s “the last game of the season” he was on the hill watching from afar. So, if something is really important, most of the time people would make themselves attend these events, but in Holden’s case he doesn’t. He doesn’t because he thinks everyone is phony and everyone is fake. Which leads to Holden trying to call someone when he got of at Penn Station after leaving Pencey Prep. “The first thing I did when I got off at Penn Station, I went into a phone booth. I felt like giving someone a buzz. …, but as soon as I was inside, I couldn’t think of anybody to call up. (Salinger, pg. 59)” Holden says that when he got to Penn Station he felt like “giving somebody a buzz”, but when he’d think of someone he’d then proceed to shut the idea out, by saying “but I didn’t feel like it” especially when it came to Jane, even though it’s clear that he really did care about her seeing that he got so mad about Stradlater’s date with her.

Although she was the only person he’s shown Allie’s glove to. He talks about calling her throughout the book but he always finds an excuse not to call her. When he does and her mom answers he just hangs up, he doesn’t bother asking if she’s there. He says that’s because he isn’t crazy about talking to moms, as he says he is. But in reality he sees people in the adult world as phonies, which means if he starts, or continues his relationship with Jane, he too would be considered a phony, which would change the whole story. The reason for Holden’s isolation is how much the death of his brother Allie affected him. Even though its been 3 years since his death Holden still hasn’t recovered.

Holden reveals that on the night of his death he broke all the windows of the garage. Even then it’s obvious that Holden was deeply affected by it and that he feels like it was unfair for him to die so young. Although he doesn’t do things like that anymore he’s clearly still very bothered by it. He mostly just cries now. Throughout the book Holden tries to make friends, while at the same time isolating himself by calling everyone phony. He doesn’t really want to connect to them, they are phonies because they’ve been exposed to the world, unlike Allie. He mentions multiple times that he likes children and talking to children, he doesn’t think kids are phony, or even the nuns, maybe because they’re more pure, and at the age that Allie died well he never experienced anything from the adult world, or lost his innocence. He admits that it bothers him that Allie died while everyone gets to keep living, growing and experiencing things. “That’s what nearly drove me crazy. All the visitors could get in their cars and turn on their radios and all and then go someplace nice for dinner-everybody except for Allie.”

A reason that he can’t connect with anyone else is because he feels like it wasn’t fair that Allie died, especially so young, and it bothers him that other people get to keep going. Holden also talks aloud to himself, but directed to Allie a lot. That’s the only person he Connects to in a sense. Like when he’s crossing 5th avenue, he feels as if Allie is protecting him “Then all of the sudden, something very spooky started happening. Every time I came to the end of a block and stepped off the goddamn curb, I had this feeling that I’d never get to the other side of the street. I thought I’d just go down, down, down, and nobody’d see me again. … Then I started doing something else. Every time I’d get to the end of a block I’d make believe I was talking to my brother Allie. I’d say to him “Allie, don’t let me disappear. Allie, don’t let me disappear. Allie, don’t let me disappear. Please, Allie.” And then when I’d reach the other side of the street without disappearing, I’d thank him.” He also admitted that he’d often talk to him out loud when he felt depressed. Allie made him feel better.

Another reason that Holden can’t connect to others due to Allie’s death is that he is too busy in his own little world wanting to be the Catcher in the Rye to be able to think about anything else. That’s all he really wants to do. Save others (Children) because he couldn’t save someone as special and innocent as Allie. He says “I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.” When Holden was in the Hotel he admitted that whenever he felt depressed, he liked to talk aloud to Allie. He says “What I did, I started talking, sort of out loud, to Allie. I do that sometimes when I get very depressed. I keep telling him to go home and get his bike and meet me in front of Bobby Fallon’s house. ” He keeps thinking about the ONE time that he didn’t take Allie with him, he tells him to meet him there now because he feels bad about saying no to him. Allie meant a lot to Holden.

A traumatic incident such as the death of a loved one can cause a person to divert others and isolate themselves without even knowing it. Everything always goes back to Allie, Holden seems to want to make friends, but the way he thinks now due to his death doesn’t allow him, he seems to like kids only because like Allie, they aren’t “Phony”.

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Review of Holden Caulfield Character in “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

In JD Salinger’s’ Catcher in the Rye, a teenager named Holden Caulfield has a hard time understanding that everyone has to grow up. Holden did not want children to grow up because he feels that adults are corrupt. This is known when Holden tries to take away bad words from the walls of an elementary school where his sister Phoebe attended. “While I was sitting down, I saw something that drove me crazy. Somebody’d written ‘Fuck you’ on the wall. It drove me damn near crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and how they’d wonder what the hell it meant, and then finally some dirty kid would tell them- all cockeyed, naturally- what it meant, and how they’d all think about it and maybe even worry about it for a couple of days. I kept wanting to kill whoever’s written it. I figured it was some perverty bum that’d sneaked in the school late at night to take a leak or something and then wrote it on the wall. I kept picturing myself catching him at it, and how I’d smash his head on the stone steps till as good and goddam dead and bloody.” (201)

Holden was really concerned with what would happen if they saw it and caused him to make stereotypes of a kid that would try to corrupt the children of an elementary school. Holden through that children were innocent because they saw the world and society without any problems. Phoebe asked Holden to name something that he would like to be when he grew up, the only thing he wanted was to be a”catcher in the rye.” Holden had an illusion for himself of a strange fantasy. Holden said that he would like to follow a poem written by Robert Burns: “If a body catch a body coming through the rye.” Holden kept “picturing all these little kids playing a game in a big field of rye. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around. And he’s standing on the edge of some the cliff and he has to catch everybody if they start to go off the cliff.

In the beginning of Catcher in the Rye, the book takes steps and the forces of change take a toll on Holden’s childish ways. In the end, he seems to be changed into a man. Holden is immature in the beginning of the book. He calls almost every person he meets as a phony. Holden feels that he is surrounded by hypocrites and fake people. Principal Thurmer,, Pencey, was the start of this charade. Principal Thurmer only said hello to the wealthy parents of students. Therefore he is a phony for doing so. Holden does not maintain responsibility throughout the whole book. He was the equipment manager of the fencing team at Pencey, and ended up losing all the equipment on the subway. He also failed out of two schools because he didn’t give effort and not showing up for classes. Holden also had a daydream about two children who never grew and they lived be in a perfect world. This happened because his younger brother Allie died. Holden needs to get over Allie to maintain his sanity. Holden life revolves around childhood, which shows all the time. His love for children shows why he cares so much for Phoebe, And why he can’t get over his dead younger brother.

In the middle of the book, Holden is waiting for an old friend of his, he had the sudden feel to go to a museum that he would go to while still a child in school so he could bring back memories of his childhood. When Holden reached the museum, he decided not to. “Then a funny thing happened. When I got to the museum, all of a sudden I wouldn’t have gone inside for a million bucks. It just didn’t appeal to me…” (122) This shows that Holden is becoming an adult. Holden did not want to enter the museum because he knew that he was too old to do so. When Holden takes his sister Phoebe to the carousel later in the book, he decided not to ride on it, or even stand on it during a rainstorm, he felt too old to get on. Holden also had another one of his kiddish fantasies for his future. Holden wanted to go and be a deaf mute somewhere in the west, so he wouldn’t have to deal with all the phonies and hypocrites. Phoebe said to Holden that she wanted to go with him, but he denies her because of his responsibility s as an adult. He told her, “I’m not going away anywhere. I changed my mind.” (207)

At the end of the book, Holden seems to be more mature. One step was when Holden did not go on the carousel with phoebe. In the center of the carousel, there was a gold ring. The kids riding on the carousel would have to reach it to get a prize”All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she’d fall off the goddam horse, but I didn’t say anything or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, 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.”(211) This carousel shows life, and life from childhood to adulthood. Children would sometimes fall when trying to reach the gold ring in the center of life, or their complete success or adulthood. Holden would have yelled out to the children that it was dangerous to try to achieve this goal. Throughout the book, Holden tries to not grow up and lose his child innocence, but when Holden tried to attempt it did nothing for him overall and ended up making his condition worst. This shows that you can’t force things to happen you have to just let it happen.

Essay Score 11/20

Focus

1/4

Organization

3/4

Voice

2/4

Sentence Structure

2/4

Evidence and Details

3/4

More about grading

The introduction is extremely lacking. Some background for the topic is provided, but the majority of the introduction is a quote from the literature being analyzed. Moreover, no thesis statement is present.
The body has been divided according to the main points. The evidence has been cited; however, none of the citations have the author’s name.
The conclusion is too brief but provides the overall essence of the essay.
Several errors in grammar and punctuation were identified. Furthermore, the use of second-person language was also found, which should be avoided in formal academic writing.

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J.D. Salinger’s Description of Holden Caulfield’s Life Struggles as Depicted in His Novel

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, the main character, Holden Caulfield demonstrates his life struggles between being a “phony” and a good person. The story begins when Holden is watching the football game from the top of the hill at his high school, Pencey Prep. Just like other schools Holden has attended, he is being kicked out because he is failing four of his subjects. Holden is at a constant battle with himself and his character and often describes himself as sad and depressed. Holden is so critical of phonies throughout the novel but is nothing but a phony himself, which portrays hypocrisy and many important things about his character. He doesn’t live up to the standards he has for others and is not as perfect as he wants to be.

To begin, Holden is critical of many things, but they cause him to contradict himself and become a hypocrite. He is very critical of the high school he goes to, Pencey and also of the “phonies” that are there. He talks about the advertisements shown in magazines about Pencey and says, “They advertise in about a thousand magazines, always showing some hot-shot guy on a horse jumping over a fence. Like as if all you ever did at Pencey was play polo all the time” (Salinger 2). Everything about the stereotypes of students at Pencey bothers Holden, and he is critical of them because he feels as if they are all phonies trying too hard to be better than everyone else. Holden is also critical of the discrepancy between what appears on the surface and what really exists. One of the people Holden thinks is a perfect example of this discrepancy is his roommate, Stradlater. Holden says, “I mean he was mostly a Year Book kind of handsome guy” (Salinger 27). Holden thinks that Stradlater appears to be what everyone thinks he is but really he isn’t any better than the rest of the boys at Pencey. Holden is critical of the way society and everyone else around him acts and assumes that what they see is what they get. However, while Holden is busy making judgments about others, he quickly places himself in the same category as those he dislikes. These things he is critical of revel hypocrisy along with the kind of person Holden is and the characteristics that he obtains.

Gradually throughout the story, Holden talks about his childhood friend Jane Gallagher who brings out the best in Holden’s character. Jane brings Holden back to his childhood and he is very protective of things he cares about. As Holden begins thinking of Jane again, he remembers a time at the movies when they were holding hands. As he begins thinking his mood changes and he says, “You never even worried, with Jane, whether your hand was sweaty or not. All you knew was, you were happy. You really were.” (Salinger ). Holden constantly finds himself thinking about Jane and how happy she made him when they were children. He is still holding onto the relationship they shared while growing up because of how much he knew about her and all the time they spent together. Holden continues to talk about Jane and everything they share as he says, “She was the only one, outside my family, that I ever showed Allie’s baseball mitt to, with all the poems written on it” (Salinger 77). Holden trusts Jane so much that he is willing to open up to her and share something important to him. This shows a more caring side of Holden’s character because of how he is opening up to Jane. Holden’s relationship with Jane brings him back to being a kid again and reveals a side of Holden no one has ever seen before.

In the end, Holden is not as perfect as he wants to be and is challenged with some psychological problems. From the definition given by Holden’s former school professor, Mr. Antolini, Holden is immature because he is always lying to people about things in his life and lying is a sign of immaturity. Holden is in his hotel room after leaving Pencey and is with a prostitute but doesn’t want to have sex with her. He explains, “She made me feel so nervous, I just kept on lying my head off. I’m still recuperating, I told her” (Salinger 97). As Holden begins getting nervous and feeling depressed, he feels the need to lie to her. He tells her he has just had an operation done and doesn’t want to have sex but will still pay her for coming. Holden’s lying continues to show immaturity and makes him just as much a phony as the rest of the people he knows. Also, while Holden is on the subway a mother of a former classmate he had sits next to him. Mrs. Marrow was her name, and she beings talking to Holden about her son Ernest and their plans for winder break. Holden tells her, “No, everybody’s fine at home, I said. It’s me, I have to have this operation” (Salinger 58). Holden lies so much that what he is saying to Mrs. Marrow doesn’t even seem like a big deal to him. His immaturity and lying are such frequent habits for him and are both things that are causing him to not be as perfect as he wants to be.

In conclusion, Holden struggles with the burden of his psychological problems to get through his depressing years at Pencey Prep and maintain a good character. At first, his childhood memories are the only thing bringing out the good in Holden. But then, Holden is critical of the “phonies” and liars around him. Finally, this shows hypocrisy when he lies his way through a number of things throughout the story and does not live up to the perfect way he wishes to be. Ultimately, Holden is placed in a rest home to help him cope with his psychological problems and hopefully help his character and ambitions.

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How Holden Caulfield Teenagers Differ Today

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Catcher in the Rye and Holden Caulfield do not resonate with the majority of today’s teenagers. It is very hard for teenagers to completely isolate themselves from everyone in their lives. They are just too connected to social media to break away from their friends and society like Holden did. Teenagers these days are also less likely to skip class because of the pressure on them to go to college. Holden did not have this pressure because he did not care one bit about society and what he was ‘supposed’ to do.

The Catcher in the Rye is a very hard book for teenagers these days to relate with. Most teenagers are connected on social media such as twitter, instagram, and facebook making it hard for them to be their own person. In the book, Holden Caulfield lost all connection with his friends and family. For modern day teens, this would be hard because their friends would text, tweet, or call them to figure out where they are. Holden did not have this issue because he was unable to carry around a device that connected him to people that weren’t with him. Unless the teenager completely ditched their devices, they could not disappear for a week without people figuring out where he was at..

Holden Caulfield was his own person. He didn’t go out of his way to get people to like him and he didn’t care what they thought of him (J.D. Salinger). This makes it very hard for teenagers to connect with him because they are constantly changing themselves to be liked or accepted. Holden Caulfield also rebelled by skipping classes and leaving his school to roam around the streets of New York. Teenagers these days could not get away with that. They are too worried about college and their grades (Patrick Welsh) to skip class.

Some people will say that even with all the technology, some of today’s teens are still able to connect with Holden Caulfield. There are people out there that do not have cell phones or internet connection. The only way they communicate is when they see people in person. This would make it easier for a teen to isolate themselves and go off on their own. They could avoid all contact with people they knew unless they wanted to make contact with them. While this may be true for a small number of teenagers, the majority of teens cannot connect with Holden which makes the plot of the book irrelevant to them. The teens that can connect with Holden still are unable to disconnect to society because of modern technology and morals.

The Catcher in the Rye does not resonate with most teenagers these days. Teens see Holden Caulfield as stupid and crazy because they can not seem to understand what it feels like to do whatever you want. Teenagers won’t skip school and they won’t say or do things that might make people dislike them. People try so hard to make others like them that it is a crazy concept for someone, like Holden, to do whatever they want despite how other people/ society react. All teenagers could learn from Holden and realize how distracted they are from technology and other people. Everyone just needs to get away from the technology and see where they are and what’s going on so that they can learn to be themselves like Holden. Once Teens achieve this, they will be able to understand Holden Caulfield and the point of The Catcher in the Rye.

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The Character of Holden Caulfield in “The Catcher in the Rye”

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger is one of the most praised and important works of the modern American literature of the 20th and 21st century. This book which is set in the end of the 1940’s and beginning of 1950’s has as the main protagonist Holden Caulfield, he is characterized by his eccentric personality to say the least. He has a weird attitude and has a difficult personality. His personality allows the reader to think a lot about who he really is and every aspect of his complex personality, way of thought and his role in the development of the book. Most novels and books portray in some way an epic hero, there are many traits an epic hero in a novel has or portrays, in this essay I will be analyzing if the character of Holden Caulfield has this traits and is an epic hero or not.

In the book, the main character, Holden Caulfield is portrayed as your usual or average teenager except with some troubles and suffering moments he goes through in development of story, such as the death of his little brother which he so deeply loves. Moments like these are the ones that make Holden the person he is, and builds up the way he acts and his personality, making him act in a very unsensensible and a carper. In the novel Holden speaks a lot about death, suicide and tragedies, which are an obvious representation of how the death of his little brother and the things that happen in his life change make him who he is and the way he acts through the rest of the story. Holden has a very evident characteristic and it is one that shows a lot, and it is that he lies about many things even to himself. When he is asked if he is fine, he will answer he is, even though he is doing terribly. He is a person who does not really bond with anyone, mainly because he always has something negative to say about people, which funnily enough he never speaks about himself. He is someone who would come off as a coward who thinks every possible thing about everyone, negative or positive, and won’t say to their face, he will just hide it to himself.

Holden is a character that tries very hard to avoid strong feeling, he attempts to be somewhat of a cold person even though he really can’t, mainly because of what he’s been through, he is constantly thinking of his little brother’s death which makes his very sad, on top of all of the other things going in his life. He has roommates that he hates, he is getting kicked out various schools and at this point he is a very lonely person who barely has any friends, so he is having a very hard time which to be honest any human being would be very emotional and very troubled with. So he tries to hide these feeling so that he doesn’t have to think about the reality he has right in front of his eyes, he is afraid to what he really is going through. So the point of this essay is to debate if Holden Caulfield is an epic hero in the novel of the “Catcher in the Rye’ or if he isn’t.

“Epic heroes” are characters who inspire and make the reader aspire to be or do what the hero is has or his doing, a hero is someone who is strong, courageous, brave and many others. Being that said, we can conclude that Holden does not portray the any of the characteristics that the “epic hero” as previously stated, as a matter of fact the description of Holden Caulfield matches more with the one of the antihero. Even so he is just an average human being who goes through some very tough obstacles in his life and seems very affected by these circumstances.

If I were to be in a somewhat similar situation to the one that Holden Caulfield is going in “Catcher in the Rye”, I think I would deal with the situation even worse than how the main character of this story does. Holden deals with a lot of pressure and strong emotions, such as loneliness, non-acceptance, depression and many others that for most people are very, very hard to cope with. Being kicked out of school, constantly losing friends are things that would probably hit me very hard in “emotions department”, not to mention the topic of the death of such close person as Holden’s little brother and severe depression. I would probably just sit down and cry all day, and try not to deal with reality, very similar to what Holden tries to do, trying to hide these feeling that deep inside he knows he cannot avoid, and that every time he thinks about them, it will create a deep sadness within himself.

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Catcher in the Rye: Holden Caulfield and Teenage Angst

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Even the smallest moment in someone’s life can change them forever. Holden Caulfield, the main character from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is the infamous personification of teenage angst. Though Holden is similar to the average teenager in many ways; he has mood swings, doesn’t like his parents, and doesn’t know what he wants to do with the rest of his life. Though, unlike normal adolescents, Holden is also struggling to cope with the death of his younger brother Allie, even though the death itself happened years ago. As a result of poor coping methods, Holden has lost the ability to function properly. He remains stuck in the past, frustrated that the world keeps turning and things keep changing, no matter how much he wishes everything would just stay the same. He has trouble talking to people, often inventing relationships in his head. This odd habit of his often leads to more frustration when a person he believes to be his friend acts differently and is seen throughout the novel in many of the encounters he has with others. Holden also has a pattern of briefly obsessing over seemingly pointless things, such as where the ducks go in winter and the way his little sister writes. These small obsessions are scattered throughout the novel and show how he has trouble dealing with unanswered questions and change. They also connect back to the death of his brother Allie in that he has trouble being in a world where Allie isn’t, constantly wanting his life to rewind back to when Allie was alive instead of pushing forth, the world refusing to stop spinning. Holden Caulfield is permanently damaged by the traumatic though long-past death of his beloved younger brother Allie and thus has unusual tendencies as a way of coping with his grief.

In a group of people who have experienced something that induces feelings of grief, one person is the affect, meaning they carry the grief for the group. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield is carrying the grief of his brother’s death for his family. Filling this role has taken a toll on Holden. Though Holden’s downward spiral has already happened before the novel begins, one can see the remnants of his demise. When analysing how Holden relates to people one can see the effects of said demise. It is important to note that though Holden did experience quite a fall, he didn’t hit rock bottom. After all, he is still able to function and have relationships with others, as poor and possibly imaginary as they may be. Still, Holden is broken and unable to put himself back together correctly. Like anything broken, he can no longer function properly. He has developed odd habits and a twisted way of taking on the world. This is seen when he interacts with other people, he has a tendency to invent relationships. Holden has a tendency to “…rather than seek a complicated judgment for various people, Holden makes hasty categorical judgments about them” (Enotes). For example, when talking about Ackley, the boy who lives in a dorm near him at the school he goes to at the beginning of the novel, he first describes him as a disgusting boy who annoys him immensely. “He started talking in this very monotonous voice, and picking at his pimples” (Salinger 37). Yet, after several more instances where he interacts with Ackley, he begins to see him in a more positive light, speaking of him fondly. “‘You’re a prince, Ackley kid…’” (Salinger 47). Holden often believes that Ackley can read his mind and understand the strange things he does, but Ackley’s responses prove otherwise. The same goes for his relationship with Jane, a girl who lived near him over the summer. He casts her as a sweet, sad girl, imagining that she felt for him the same way he felt for her, refusing to believe that she has changed since he last saw her. When he learns that she is going on a date with his pompous roommate Stradlater, he feels betrayed and confused, unable to understand that she would go out with someone who, according to Holden, would treat her wrongly and wouldn’t make her happy. When discussing her with Stradlater, Holden first seems indifferent about her, but as he continues talking, reveals the true feelings he has for her. The only problem is, Jane has no idea that Holden feels for her, even though he pretends that she does. The fact that someone else is going out with Jane shatters the illusion he had of their romance. He fights Stradlater when he comes back from the date, angry that Stradlater even went out with her when in Holden’s head, Holden clearly didn’t want him to. “If you knew Stradlater, you’d have been worried too” (Salinger 40). Though Holden never speaks directly to Jane throughout the novel, he feels oddly protective of her, almost maniacally believing that she is his and his alone. This proves the fact that Holden, damaged by his brother’s death long ago, is unable to function correctly.

Another way that Holden reveals how damaged he is is by becoming almost manic when fixated on a person or an object that has affected him in some way. These obsessions are usually over something small,seemingly unimportant, and serve no purpose other than to convey how unstable Holden is and show his almost childlike demeanor a remnant of Allie’s passing. When in a cab in New York City in the wintertime, Holden asks the cab driver where the ducks go when the pond freezes over. The driver is irritated by this and doesn’t really answer him, but Holden can’t move on from the question until he gets an answer. In this scenario, the duck’s disappearance symbolizes Allie’s death. He desperately wants to know where Allie has gone, refusing to believe that he is gone forever. This proves that Holden so close to toppling over the edge into full lunacy, clinging on by only a few threads. Another small obsession of his is Jane. He brings up random, detailed memories of her throughout the novel, such as the way she looks or how she plays checkers. She always seems to be in the back of his mind. Unlike the ducks, Holden is never able to fully move on from Jane; she made a huge impact on him. She was the only person he showed Allie’s baseball glove to, proving that she held an important place in his heart. The glove is precious to Holden because Allie had written poems all over it while in the outfield when playing baseball. The most important thing about Jane is that she made Holden happy. “You were never even worried, with Jane…[all] youn knew was, you were happy” (Salinger 79). It is one of, if not the only instance where Holden describes himself as happy. He tells his memories with Jane in a fond manner, describing her down-to-earth, sweet personality, saying how he never worried when he was with her. As depressed as Holden is, it’s no wonder that someone who made him happy would mean so much to him. Sadly, the only way that he can deal with his feelings for Jane is by obsessing over her, refusing to forget about the moments they shared no matter how long ago they were. Jane is not the only person that Holden is fixated on. Phoebe, Holden’s little sister, proves to play an important role in his life as she is continuously referred to throughout the novel. The memories he brings up about Phoebe often have a more bittersweet tune than those of Jane, as he is saddened by the fact that his sister keeps growing up and changing. “She’s very affectionate. I mean she’s quite affection, for a child” (Salinger 161). Phoebe and Jane are similar in that they each have helped him relax and are people that he feels comfortable being himself with. When Holden is with Phoebe when he comes home from Pensfield Prep, he cries over how she is so willing to help him. Unlike Jane, however, Phoebe’s love for her brother is real and unimagined. She loves him very much, and would do anything to make him happy. She even tries to go with him near the end of the novel when he is leaving the city. Holden loves her just as much, proving it with the sentimental memories he tells the reader. Like his memories of Jane, they are oddly specific and detailed. One of them is the way she writes. He remembers each of her misspellings and characters, making him sad that he never sees her. Another is the way she acts, such as when he goes to the movies with her and she knows all the lines to her favorite film, The 39 Steps. “She knows the whole goddamn movie by heart, because I’ve taken her to see it about ten times” (Salinger 67). He says the things she does “kill him”, or make him depressed. Last but not least, Holden is fixated on his brother, Allie. This is yet another case where Holden brings up a character throughout the book. Allie made the biggest impact on Holden. When Allie dies, Holden is forever changed. This pain changes him. He now has trouble with relationships and relating to the world in general as he misses Allie and his childhood with his beloved brother.

Holden Caulfield is a tortured soul with a broken heart and a shattered mind. He is unsure of who he is and who he wants to be, wanting everything to stay the same. After his younger brother dies at a young age, Holden loses the ability to function properly. Refusing to accept the fact that change is inevitable, he can no longer act within the norm. He struggles when interacting with other people and tends to invent relationships in his head, when in reality they do not exist. Seen multiple times throughout the novel, this sad habit makes meeting and communicating with people hard for him, as he often holds half the conversation in his head. Holden also has a tendency to obsess over seemingly insignificant details in his life. This is a result of the fact that he does not accept change and thus holds onto details that he hopes will never be altered by the passing of time. Sometimes this obsession is brief, like when he wonders where the ducks go in winter. Other times the obsession resurfaces multiple times throughout the novel. These obsessions are often over people that are important to him, from his dead brother Allie to the girl he loves, Jane. All of Holden’s actions mentioned above prove that Allie’s death was the catalyst for Holden’s demise.

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Analysis of the Features of “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger and “Novel” by Arthur Rimbaud

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

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. Holden even states that he tried to break his family’s station wagon, but his hand was broken. This event shows that Holden really cared about Allie and that his death had a huge impact on his life. The death of Allie created a fear for Holden, Holden became afraid of change. Holden himself stated that Allie was very mature for his age and very smart in the quote “He was two years younger than I was, but he was about fifty times as intelligent.” (p. 21). The way Holden sees change is the more you grow, the closer to death you find yourself. In the poem “Novel” by Arthur Rimbaud, the narrator talks about drinking and walking around. The narrator is having fun and is in tune with the environment. A quote that supports this is “At times the air is so scented that we close our eyes,” Other lines in the stanza also support this idea. In the next section, the narrator talks about his/her surroundings and how he feels. He is interrupted by a sudden kiss and starts to tremble like a small insect. In the next section, the narrator starts to talk to himself in his mind.

The narrator uses the word ‘you’ not to the reader, but to himself to think about the things he is seeing, for example the attractive girl. The narrator was probably kissed by the attractive girl and now he is thinking to himself. She is probably not supposed to see the narrator because of her father. The line “Under the shadow of her father’s terrible collar …” proves this idea. The narrator is hesitant when kissing her which is proved by the line “And as she finds you incredibly naïve,” The narrator is most likely afraid of what will happen next if he continues with the girl. He is probably afraid that something would happen between him and her father, so he becomes afraid of the change about to occur. “The Catcher in the Rye” and “Novel” shares a very similar characteristic. Holden is afraid of change because his brother Allie died and he believes that growing up will lead to death and ultimately nothing good will come out of it. The narrator in “Novel” is also afraid of change because he is hesitant when he is kissing the girl. The narrator also drinks beer and has a good time walking around saying that he isn’t serious because he’s 17. Both Holden and the narrator are afraid of change and coming of age.

People who usually have trouble accepting change often have trouble accepting other people. In “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, Holden looks down upon many people, sometimes even when he doesn’t know them. He refers to these people as ‘phonies’. The relationship between Holden and Jane was just friendly, in Jane’s point of view. Holden had a most likely secret crush on her, but didn’t have the guts to tell her. Even when Stradlater was dating her, he thought of calling her up but he didn’t in the end because Holden doesn’t have the guts to admit his true feelings to her, much less to talk to her. Holden makes up an excuse about not being in the mood, just to have a reason not to call her up. The quote that proves this idea is “The only reason I didn’t do it was because I wasn’t in the mood.” (p. 34). By calling Jane up, Holden thought that things would change and so would his relationship with Jane, especially after the fight with Stradlater. He was possibly afraid that Stradlater told Jane about the fight and that he was either too embarrassed to talk to her or Stradlater told a tall tale and made Holden seem like the bad guy. In “Novel” by Arthur Rimbaud, the narrator starts to hesitate when kissing the girl. She’s attractive and she’s kissing him but the narrator is afraid. The reason he is afraid is because of change. If he goes through and kisses the girl, things might happen and the girl’s father might catch them. The girl’s father is probably protective of her. The line that suggests this is “Under the shadow of her father’s terrible collar . . .” The father is probably the type that doesn’t want boys to come near his daughter. The narrator’s lifestyle seems to be happy and frivolous, especially because he mentions that seventeen year olds don’t take things seriously and he mentions beer, which probably means he likes to hang out and party. The two lines that support this idea are “We aren’t serious when we’re seventeen” and “…to hell with beer and lemonade,” In both works, both Holden and the narrator have a relationship with the opposite sex. They’re both in love with the other person, or at least find them attractive, but they’re afraid of what will happen next. In the end, both the narrator and Holden are afraid of change, their actions might change the relationships between the women (in Holden’s case) or their actions might put an end to a free roaming lifestyle where you can do anything you want and not go into a long term commitment (in the narrator’s case).

Sometimes people want to do something in a way they want they want to do it. In “The Catcher in the Rye”, Holden talks about sex multiple times. He even calls himself a sex maniac and recalls multiple times when he almost had sexual intercourse with a girl, but failed. For example, he ranted about how on double dates, when the two couples are in the car, the girl in the front always looks to the back to see what’s going on. Holden sees this as the reason why he hasn’t lost his virginity yet. Sometime later, Holden decides to hire a prostitute. After she pulls her dress over her head, Holden begins to feel peculiar and chickens out. He decides to just talk to Sunny because he is too nervous to have sex with her, with it being a sudden moment and all. The quote that proves this is “I certainly felt peculiar when she did that. I mean she did it so sudden and all. I know you’re supposed to feel pretty sexy when somebody gets up and pulls their dress over their head, but I didn’t. Sexy was about the last thing I was feeling.” (p. 51).

In “Novel”, the narrator obviously worships the girl. The lines that prove this are “While clicking her little boots,” and “She turns abruptly, and in a lively way …” The narrator notices every movement the girl makes, he is fond of her and worships her because she is attractive. The narrator says that he isn’t serious at seventeen, but he is in love and he hesitates after he kisses her. Both Holden and the narrator are afraid of change. Holden hires a prostitute with the intention of finally losing his virginity, something that he always talks about and wants. Proof of this would be when Holden calls himself a sex maniac and when he goes to a bar with Carl Luce, where he cannot stop talking about sex. But after sunny takes off her dress, Holden again does not have the guts to go through with it and he hesitates. Maybe he viewed Sunny as special, but most likely Holden was afraid that if he loses his virginity, he’ll be one step closer towards growing up, and thus becoming a man.

The narrator is also afraid because if he continues kissing the girl, he will come of age and be entered in a long term commitment with her. Seeing as he’s seventeen and his logic that seventeen year olds don’t take things seriously, the narrator doesn’t want to go into a long term commitment because he wants to do whatever he wants and not come of age when he has to become serious and stop hanging out and drinking beer, but he loves the girl and worships her, so Holden and the narrator are in a situation where they want something, but in order to get it they have to do something they don’t want to do. Both Holden and the narrator are afraid that if they continue their actions with their women, they will take a step closer towards adulthood and thus, change.

In “The Catcher in the Rye”, Holden starts getting a grasp at change. When he goes home and talks to Phoebe, he tells her about this fantasy he’s been having. Holden, wearing his red hunting hat was in a field of rye, where children were playing a game. Holden would run over and catch them before they reached the cliff and fell off. The cliff can be a symbol for growing up, or adulthood which is what Holden as against. When the children are playing the game, the rye is tall and they probably aren’t paying attention to where they’re going. Holden’s job would be to catch them and prevent them from becoming adults and thus preserving their life. Holden then goes to his old English teacher, Mr. Antolini. Mr. Antolini gives Holden basically the same advice old Spencer gives him. He tells Holden to find himself and ultimately grow up. These events are the rising action to the scene where Holden gives Phoebe his red hunting hat. This symbolizes the fact that he has grown up and accepted change, and is now making Phoebe the next ‘catcher in the rye’. Holden ultimately accepts change and lets out his feelings by crying after all of this time and finally becomes an adult (“I felt so damn happy all of sudden, the way old Phoebe kept going around and around. I was damn near bawling, I felt so damn happy, if you want to know the truth [p. 114]).

Holden accepts change and releases his feelings after a number of events push him into changing, such as his conversation with Phoebe, Mr. Antolini and the image of Phoebe on the carousel. These events are the rising action to the climax, where Holden starts to cry and releases his feelings after giving Phoebe the red hunting hat. In “Novel” the narrator also accepts change. In the line “You are in love. Occupied until the month of August.” You can tell that the narrator has also accepted change, because he is occupied with the girl, presumably dating her. In the line “All your friends go off, you are ridiculous.” We can see that the narrator has left his old lifestyle of wandering and beer and is now in a sophisticated and long term relationship, until a certain point. In this case, when the girl kissed the narrator, those events triggered a moment of hesitation where the narrator had to make a choice, leave his old lifestyle and pursue a relationship with the girl, or he can continue his free lancing and not take things seriously. The narrator changes, but the girl becomes what he was, a seventeen year old who doesn’t take things seriously. When Holden gives Phoebe his red hunting hat, he is making her the next ‘catcher in the rye’. He grows into adulthood and he takes Phoebe as his replacement by giving her the red hunting hat, which symbolizes the role. Both Holden and the narrator grow into new roles and give up their old roles to women. Although, they both give up their roles and grow into adulthood to the same women who helped and influenced them to grow up. These characters helped the protagonists overcome their fear of change and finally turn them into adults.

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