Catcher In The Rye By J.D. Salinger: Emotions Of Holden Caulfield
J.D. Salinger introduced Holden Caulfield as an emotional teenager that had been kicked off his boarding school. Holden faced difficulty when he left and felt alone in the world. His parents were not there for him and his sister, so he had to take up a responsibility that he was not ready for. He was not ready to protect his sister or find love and he felt disgusted by the world. He could not accept his failures and wanted to be a saint so that he could protect others. In The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, Holden has difficulty transitioning from childhood to adulthood, due to fear and depression, and because of these emotions, he feels alienated from society.
Holden’s difficulty of transitions originates from his childhood and the fact that he lacked strong parental figures. As he grows up, he wants to become the person that his parents were not. Holden’s parents sent him to boarding school and left him there to fend for himself. He felt that he could not live up to his parent’s expectations and therefore struggled in school, which caused him to get expelled from Pencey Prep. When he left Pencey, he ran away to New York where he tried to live his life independently. This was difficult because he had no help and feared responsibility. He could not make money because jobs were an adult responsibility and he did not like adulthood. He wanted to stay young so that he could avoid becoming an adult with responsibilities. As a younger person, he could relate better with children. Salinger writes,
“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye…And I’m 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 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” (224-225).
In this excerpt, Holden is labeling himself as “the catcher in the rye”. He wants to be the protector so that he can save the children from falling off of the imaginary cliff. He wants to “catch” them and essentially save them. This could relate to the death of Allie, his brother, and how he was not there for him when he died from leukemia. But, this is difficult for him, because he does not have anyone to catch him if he falls. Critic, Baumbach, says, “Apparently Holden’s wish is purely selfless. What he wants, to effect, is to be a saint—the protector and savior of innocence. But what he also wants, for he is still one of the running children himself, is that someone prevents his fall” (59). The author explains that Holden wants to be a protector. Holden has never experienced strong feelings of protection from his parents and he does not want to see others struggle. At the same time, he wants to be saved from falling into a state of depression. In order to become a protector (a catcher in the rye), he must find someone to show him the way. Holden felt that he lacked the skills to be a strong parental figure and he let his emotions and sexuality cloud his judgment.
The Catcher in the Rye is a classic novel from 1951 written by J.D Salinger, and happens to be a personal favourite of mine. ‘Lean on Pete’ is a 2010 novel by Willy Vlautin, which I haven’t happened to read yet, however it is also a 2018 film directed by Andrew Haigh and happens to be a masterpiece produced by one of my favourite film studios; A24. I cannot officially say The Catcher in the Rye influenced Lean on Pete;...
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, tells the story of Holden, a teenager who is searching for understanding in the world. After his expulsion from yet another boarding school, Holden runs to New York, where he spends the next few days. During his stay in the city, Holden constantly attempts to connect with others only to end in failure every time. Feeling lonely, Holden rejects reality, prefering to take refuge in his own perfect fantasy world. While Holden’s...
Everyone experiences growing up in a different way. Some people have a fear of it and some people look forward to it. In The Catcher in the Rye Holden, a teenage boy who just got expelled from his boarding school, experiences the challenges of growing out of adolescence. Some challenges he faces are the need for security, learning how to accept adulthood, having a fear of change, and having the need to protect innocence, these challenges are represented by various...
In 1951, Jerome David Salinger published a novel ‘ The Catcher in the Rye’, which has become a desktop book of more than one generation of Americans and not only Americans: according to the number of translations to other languages ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ occupies one of the first places in the post-war U.S. literature. Published in 1960 in Russia, Salinger’s novel strongly influenced the so-called youth prose, which was made famous by the magazine ‘Youth’. Even in a...
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Both J.D. Salinger and David Fincher use similar techniques to tell a story to make the viewer/reader feel attached to the main character in more of a personal way. Some techniques that are present in both The Social Network and The Catcher in the Rye are, setting, language and symbolism. Setting in a big theme in both movies, it is used to give more information about the main character and the environment that they are in. Scene 2 in The...
Written in the mid 1900s, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is a classic American text. Salinger tells the story of sixteen-year-old Holden, as he makes his way home after getting expelled from yet another boarding school. Holden, an independent teenager, has an ongoing conversation with the readers as he recounts this story from a mental hospital. Through his recollections, Holden’s personality and character traits shine through. While Holden Caulfield is critical of almost every person he meets, he...
Without a doubt, growing up can be described as one of the most exhilarating yet terrifying experiences an individual may encounter in their lives. The idea that one must dive headfirst into unknown territory, all the while seeking mental and physical rediscovery can take its toll on those who find it difficult to accept that the world is constantly changing around them. The rollercoaster of emotions combatted with the constant pressures of society can dwindle the light waiting to ignite...
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