Catcher in the Rye Essay
Capturing a Real Role The sign of the carousel and adolescence used by J. D. Salinger in the Catcher in the Rye establish Holden’s character into a boy. Holden Caulfield is an adolescent that declines to mature. He starts his life in the book as a baffled young man looking for saving humankind. Through the awareness Holden has, he has the ability to acknowledge his true role in life. Holden comprehends that he is unable to stop every child from taking dangers, that allowing them to take risks is part of growing up. Holden’s character changes significantly during the course of the book.
Holden matured viewing adults as phonies. “Phoniness” is Holden’s way to describe the superficiality, hypocrisy, pretension, and shallowness that he encounters in the world around him (Seng 14). To him, kids are still pure, and he tries to maintain that in them. At his traditional, Pencey Prep, Holden strongly did not like the teachers because he thinks that they were unfair and cured him unjustly. “Pencey was full of criminals. Several men originated from these rich families, but it was full of crooks anyway. The more pricey a school is, the more criminals it has– I’m not joking” (Salinger 2).
In his mind, everyone is look consumed, a secret slob, or a suck up (Irving 118). Holden finds any semblance of a typical adult life to be “phony.” He does not wish to mature and be like them; he does not wish to get a job or a home or go to a workplace, and he definitely does not wish to do what those “bastards” do. Holden deals with the idea of phonies in intriguing methods. If Holden calls everyone a phony, he can feel much better if they reject him. For instance it was not his fault that the ladies in the Lavender space did not want to be with him, they were simply phonies who might not understand him.
It is his defense mechanism. One method to comprehend his irregularity is to look at his childhood. The events in his youth were not pleasant, often too traumatic for little Holden to handle, leading to his weird habits in numerous parts of the novel. A big impact on Holden’s character is his brother Allie’s death. Allie was one of only a few grownups Holden deem still “pure.” Allie’s death reduces him, and he has an apparent hard time dealing with it. Holden’s confession about how he broke all the windows in the garage the night Allie passes away is and important one; Allie’s death has a big impact on Holden’s life.
Holden’s mental distress is revealed greatly, as he can not manage his emotions and lets them all out. The thought of Allie repeats often times throughout the book, with Holden constantly describing Allie in tough times. Additionally, Holden is likewise self-destructive sometimes, contemplating suicide on numerous occasions. He states he would offer to sit on top of an atomic bomb, so his life might be over. Holden states: “I’m sort of glad they have actually got the atomic bomb invented. If there’s ever another war, I’m going to sit right the hell on top of it.
I’ll volunteer for it, I swear to God I will” (Salinger 181). Other times, he appears frightened at the though of his own death. While in New York City, Holden is afraid to step off of the block to cross the street, thinking that he might fall off and never have the ability to get up. To conserve himself from falling, Holden speak to Allie at the end of each block, saying: “Each time I ‘d get to the end of a block I ‘d pretend I was speaking with my sibling Allie. I ‘d say to him, ‘Allie, do not let me vanish. Allie, don’t let me disappear. Allie, don’t let me disappear. Please, Allie. And then when I ‘d reach completion of the street without disappearing, I ‘d thank him” (Salinger 204). Holden needs somebody to keep an eye out for him, to save him when he is in need. The significance of the images of falling is evident in how Holden lives his life. Falling is used as a parallel to growing. Given that Holden views adults as “phonies,” he can not stoop so low as to mature and become “among them.” He never ever takes dangers because he is too afraid of falling. Holden is plagued with ideas of death. The biggest impact on Holden and his transformation is Phoebe, Holden’s sister.
Phoebe is the one thing Holden lives for. He has a genuine love for her that is really apparent in the book. Holden speaks about his sister approximately no end. She is the smartest kid ever, Holden ensures the reader, along with a fantastic listener. Phoebe is a fantastic dancer, psychological, and amusing. In Holden’s eyes Phoebe is his savior, and she always has a propensity for assisting Holden when he most requires it. She is a quite amazing character to him due to the fact that she in some way manages to be all over the location, but still very much ten years old. Phoebe constantly is there for Holden and he can lean back on her for support.
Holden discovers her to be so incredible because of her capability to act like a child and an adult at the same time (Burrows 81). She is smart enough to determine that Holden was tossed out of Pencey, however she still is childish enough to utter: “Daddy’ll eliminate you!” (Salinger 216). She assures Holden that she will run away out west with him. Phoebe isn’t eager to flee, she aspires to be with Holden. When Holden declines to let her come, she looks after him in her own way, in the carousel scene, where she puts his red hunting hat back on his head. She is the only one who gives back to Holden.
So, in Holden’s eyes, Phoebe is exactly the kind of kid require to be conserved. He wants to safeguard her from the hazards of adulthood. This idea of conserving Pheobe is full of irony, as it is soon discovered that Holden is the one in need of saving. When Holden escapes from Pencey, he walks Central Park in the evening with damp hair. He believes he may die from pneumonia, but he has to survive due to the fact that it would affect Phoebe. “Kid, I was still shivering like a bastard, and the back of my hair, even though I had my searching hat on, was sort of full of little hunks of ice. That worried me.
I thought probably I ‘d get pneumonia and die” (Salinger 42). The only worth his life holds is to Phoebe. Later on, while Holden remains in the city, he stops to buy Phoebe a record. The “Little Shirley Beans” record represents childhood and Holden wishes to provide it to Phoebe due to the fact that he desires her to remain a child permanently. The record plays the very same tune and never ever changes, just as how he does not desire Phoebe to change. Unfortunately, on his way to offer it to her he drops it and it shatters into numerous pieces. It made him so sad, as everything he has worked for was just lost.
He tried to make Phoebe pleased by getting her one of her preferred CD’s, however as usual for Holden, whatever goes wrong. Holden’s interest in the Little Shirley Beans record is interesting. After he drops it, he gets all the pieces and puts them in his coat pocket, even though now they are worthless. “I took the pieces out of the envelope and put them into my coat pocket. They weren’t great for anything, but I didn’t seem like tossing it away” (Salinger 78). Holden has a hope that perhaps Phoebe will value his effort, and does not want to throw away something that is pure to him.
When Holden speaks about the vocalist, Estelle Fletcher, he mentions that her singing is really “Dixieland and whorehouse” (Salinger 75). Initially, this sounds extremely odd. Why would Holden buy a record for his cherished sister that sounds Dixieland and whorish? The response is basic: The record is for kids; it is about a little lady who is ashamed about losing her front tooth. Holden figures that many people, if trying to compose a story for kids, would make it charming and mushy, due to the fact that thats what little kids enjoy. Holden prefers Estelle Fletcher because she lacks this sort of deceitfulness.
Holden eventually provides the broken record to Phoebe, who voluntarily accepts it and keeps the pieces although they were useless. “Phoebe takes from him the residues of his idealism and the fragments of his personality and accepts the problem of conserving the pieces” (Burrows 87). In other words, Phoebe gathers bits and pieces of Holden’s old self, and conserves them so he does not have to. The point of realization for Holden begins a simple flight on the carousel. There’s just one location in the whole novel where Holden states himself to be truly delighted. So happy, in reality, that he’s damn near bawling.
Which moment is at the end of his narrative, in Chapter Twenty-Five, as he’s out in the rain watching Phoebe walk around and around on the carousel. She simply looks so great, he says, in her blue coat, going around and around. The carousel walks around and around. It never ever goes anywhere. It is a sign of his stagnancy in youth. Holden, who would like absolutely nothing to alter and whatever to stay the exact same, now accepts that attempting to conserve everyone is a childish dream. At the end of the story Holden does pass by to get on. He lets Phoebe go on and he is comfy with this decision.
On old-fashioned carousels, kids utilized to grab a far-off gold ring which would provide a reward if snagged. The goal was to grab the gold ring when it passed. Normally, if a kid grabbed it, he then got a complimentary ride. When Holden concludes that you need to just let a kid reach, although they might get harmed doing so, he may be saying, although he most likely does not understand it himself, that growing up remains in reality essential– for Phoebe and for himself; he can not actually protect a kid from it, so it is much better to simply accept it as it is. The gold ring represents taking a chance on life.
Holden does not believe the Phoebe will be able to reach it, but he still lets her attempt, representing his understanding of how life works. The gold ring represents the adult years, and all the children are both actually and symbolically grabbing, and trying to obtain it. Also, it represents the struggle, and want to grow up and ultimately loose innocence. Holden needs to let both himself and Phoebe grow up. Holden has finally found his area in life. He comprehends that he can not be “the catcher in the rye.” he can no longer commit his life to saving children from the perils of their adult years.
At the beginning of the book, Holden is a baffled adolescent in need of conserving himself. Through the signs depicted in the book, Holden has the ability to save himself, and in turn learn his role in life. Works Cited Burrows, David. “Allie and Phoebe.” “Holden Caulfield.” Ed ST Joshi. Chelsea House, 1990. 80-87. Print. Irving, Joanne. “Holden Caulfield hesitates of Growing Up.” “Depression in the Catcher in the Rye.” Ed. Elizabeth Des Chenes. Greenhaven Press, 2009. 112-124. Print. Pinsker, Sanford. “The Ending of The Catcher in the Rye.” “JD Salingers’ The Catcher in the Rye. Ed. Harold Blum. Chelsea Home, 1996. 59-62. Print Seng, Peter. “Holden Caulfield Is unable to Cope with a Grownup World.” “Anxiety in the Catcher in the Rye.” Ed. Elizabeth Des Chenes. Greenhaven Press, 2009. 103-122. Print “The Catcher in the Rye.” “Novels for Trainees.” Ed. Diane Belgian. Vol 1. Detroit. Gale, 1997. 116-127. Print Trowbridge, Clinton. “Significance in the Catcher in the Rye.” “Catcher in the Rye.” Ed. Steven Engel. Greenhaven. San Diego, 1998. 43. Print Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Ed. Little, Brown and Business. Boston, 1951. Print