If a Body Catch a Body– Catcher in the Rye
Everybody goes through a phase, most of the time in his or her late teens and early twenties, where they begin questioning life and death, aging, and what the point of it all is. Some question more than others, but I think everybody ponders over it a minimum of once. I likewise think that everyone, when they get to be nearing the end of their high school career, or their college career, gets frightened of growing up, becoming an adult, losing their innocence, and later on dying, whether they’re willing to confess their worry or not. This is why so many people can relate rather to the unique Catcher in the Rye, because the storyteller, although his sensations are somewhat extreme, is going through this stage in his life. Throughout the entire novel, Holden Caulfield has an underlying fear of death and losing innocence, and there are many signs to reveal this.
The most obvious sign that Holden is afraid of the adult years and death is in the title of the book itself. It’s taken from a poem by Robert Burns called “Comin Thro’ The Rye.” Part of the poem goes,
“Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro’ the rye,
Gin a body kiss a body,
Required a body cry?” (lines 9-12).
At one point in the novel, Caulfield hears a young kid singing this song while strolling on the edge of the curb, making sure to walk in a completely straight line while following his moms and dads, who aren’t paying any attention to him. It makes him pleased because this child is the picture of innocence. He isn’t aware what he is singing about, he’s simply singing for singing’s sake (Salinger 121; ch. 16). The tune gets stuck in Caulfield’s head, and later on, when he sneaks into his sibling’s room, he tells her about it. He has it in his head that the very first line goes, “If a body catch a body,” which she fixes him on.
“I thought it was ‘if a body catch a body,'” I stated. “Anyway, I keep imagining all these youngsters playing some game in this huge field of rye and all. Countless youngsters, and nobody’s around– no one big, I mean– other than me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I need to do, I need to capture everyone if they begin to go over the cliff– I imply if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from someplace and capture them. That’s all I do all day. I ‘d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I ‘d truly like to be. I know it’s crazy.” (Salinger 179; ch. 22)
Firstly, there are only kids in the rye field, omitting Holden. They’re playing a video game, the image of innocence, however they’re close to a cliff. The rye field symbolizes childhood, innocence and pureness, however the cliff represents their adult years, and in Holden’s mind, phoniness, and the bottom of the cliff represents death. Holden’s positioning might be a symbol of something too. He’s on the edge of the cliff, which might signify the fact that he’s close to their adult years, but not there yet, since he is unwilling to mature and lose his innocence. Holden wants to conserve the children from entering into the adult years, due to the fact that he sees their adult years as something that people should be conserved from– something bad, or frightening.
Holden has lots of qualities besides his name that program that he could be scared of maturing. One, for instance, is the reality that he is still a virgin, and dabble the concept of sex, because it’s natural for a boy of his age, but at the same time he can never do it. Even when he gets the opportunity, he usually doesn’t even try, for instance, when he requested for a woman of the street to come as much as his room. As soon as the lady, Sunny, came up, he lied to her about just having gone through an operation, and that he would not be able to (Salinger 101; ch. 13). Virginity signifies innocence in the utmost way possible, and part of the reason that people are emotional about losing their virginity is since they’re losing their innocence.
Also, Holden gets depressed whenever he encounters “fuck you,” doodled onto a wall. Not just does it sadden him to see the words, however see where the words are composed. Both times he encounters the words, he remains in someplace that reminds him of his youth, the museum and his old school, now his siblings. It’s also intriguing that he seems to believe some adult entered into the school to write that on the wall, when it was most likely one of the trainees. Holden has an optimistic view of children of pureness and innocence, and he can just envision an adult writing blasphemy on the wall. The vandalism impacts him the method it does because he’s concerned about whatever child stumbles upon it. He’s worried that their innocence will be polluted by seeing the obscenity.
Another attribute is his disdain of “phonies,” which is practically every single grownup. There’s just a couple of adults that he does not have something bad to say about, one being his sibling, Allie, and another being a kid that went to Elkton Hills with Holden, named James Castle. Both of these characters are the only deaths that have actually remained in Holden’s life, and both were traumatic for him. Allie was a substantial good example in Holden’s life, and he liked Allie probably more than any other human being. He even ‘prays’ to Allie at one point in the story, when he begins getting scared that he’s going to “vanish.” He repeats to himself, “Allie, don’t let me vanish. Do not let me vanish,” and then when he does not vanish, he thanks him (Salinger 204; ch. 25).
James Castle, on the other hand, was simply a fellow trainee who Holden barely even understood. He obtained a turtleneck from Holden, which was practically all the individual interaction Holden ever had with him. After James Castle pointed out another boy was conceited behind his back, and the young boy and his buddies confronted James, rather of taking it back or succumbing to being battered, he leapt out the window. Holden discusses he remained in the shower when it took place, and he heard the thump outside, which he initially took no notification of. When people started running outdoors though, he headed out to confront James Castle lying on the actions, dead, with his blood and teeth everywhere, in Holden’s turtleneck (Salinger 165; ch. 21).
By having James Castle die in Holden’s turtleneck, I believe Salinger was attempting to draw some sort of connection between Holden and James. Later, when Holden went to the Antolini’s, Mr. Antolini passes on an alerting to Holden. He says, “I can very clearly see you passing away nobly, one way or another, for some highly not worthy cause,” (Salinger 195; ch. 24). This is exactly what took place to James Castle. He died nobly for an unworthy cause. I believe Salinger was trying to reveal what a potential fate of Holden might have been, and I think Holden somehow related to James, therefore it was slightly traumatic for him.
There also may be some connection between the fact that the 2 grownups that Holden does not consider to be phonies are both dead. Due to the fact that they are both dead, maybe Holden unconsciously thinks that the only method to leave becoming his negative picture of an adult is through death. He might be terrified of death due to the fact that he almost sees it as being inevitable if he’s to get away ending up being a phony.
Something else to take a look at is Holden’s hair colour, his red searching hat, and what he does concerning both. Allie and Phoebe, his sibling and sibling, both have intense red hair. Holden has black hair with a strange grey patch that offers him a sensation of age. He tries to utilize his hair colour and show it off when he’s attempting to act older or when it will benefit him. For instance, when he tries to enter into bars or when he’s trying to flirt with older women, he keeps his hat off. The hat is also considerable. Holden bought it after he humiliated himself in front of his whole fencing team, which suggests he was feeling somewhat alone and vulnerable. The hat is brilliant red, the very same colour as Allie and Phoebe’s hair, and the function of the hat is to hunt in.
This indicates that the hat may make Holden feel near Allie and Phoebe, 2 individuals who he loves and are both kids in his mind, and it also may make him feel more empowered and hard because of the function of the hat. This is the method the hat makes him feel since of a number of instances where he puts it on and hides his grey hair. He puts it on when he’s discussing Allies baseball glove, and so he feels closer to Allie by putting it on, and is identifying with him. He likewise puts it on and is playing around in it with Ackley, who he can have compassion with because neither of them have actually lost their innocence through losing their virginity.
He feels comfy enough wearing it in front of Ackley since the hat represents youth and innocence. One can likewise tell that he’s somewhat uneasy about it, due to the fact that whenever he puts it on in New york city, it’s when no one else is around. “I took my old searching hat out of my pocket while I walked. I knew I wouldn’t satisfy any person that knew me, and it was quite damp out,” (Salinger 128; ch. 16). “That hat I purchased had ear-laps in it, and I put them on– I didn’t provide a damn how I looked. No one was around anyway,” (Salinger 57; ch. 8). All in all, the hat is a symbol for innocence, and we can inform that Holden likes it for that reason.
The fundamental style of the unique The Catcher in the Rye is Holden Caulfield dealing with his issues, fears, and mulling life over in his mind, whether he knows it or not. He’s attempting to find out his standpoint on life, figure out his concerns and find out more about himself. I believe the main worry of Holden’s is his worry of losing his innocence, maturing, and dying. Practically whatever that occurs in the story in some way associates with this worry. You can discover assistance for this concept in the title of the book, and lots of attributes he has and reactions he needs to specific things. At the end of the unique, we get the sense that Holden is beginning to recognize that maybe ending up being an adult isn’t so bad after all, and that although he has a great deal of growth ahead of him, he is on the right track towards it.