The Aftermath Of War As Portrayed In J.D Salinger’s Novel, The Catcher In The Rye

War Without A Cause

America won; humanity lost. Although The second world war resulted in America’s increased prosperity, it ended up leaving an injury undue to be repaired, an injury that bleeds through the pages of J.D. Salinger’s coming-of-age unique The Catcher in the Rye. Conformity pervaded 1950s American society, and this book is among the couple of that challenged America’s mainstream values; it provided a shock factor with its primary character, Holden Caulfield, bold to question the status quo. Functioning as his personal catharsis, Salinger utilized the unique to reveal an indictment against a corrupt and inefficient society. Catcher can be compared to a compelling exposé-only in this case, it’s on an entire country. The novel’s indicative of a culture that could not yet understand the weak points and frailty of society, a culture that, in basic terms, was having an identity crisis. The Catcher in the Rye works as J.D. Salinger’s individual anti-war manifesto, indicated to be a public exposé on the damage war can trigger.

The voice of Holden ended up being as deeply impacted by war as the author himself. Holden speaks in an identifiable teenage language, however at the exact same time, never ever utilizes indecency in an uneasy method, as revealed when he sees that “somebody ‘d written ‘F *** you’ on the wall. It drove [him] damn near crazy. [He] kept wanting to eliminate whoever ‘d written it” (Salinger 268). Holden’s displeasure of the word adds to his belief that whatever worldwide has been damaged by indecencies. To him, “You can’t ever find a place that’s great and peaceful, since there isn’t any. You may think there is, once you arrive, when you’re not looking, someone’ll sneak up and compose “F *** you” right under your nose” (Salinger 273). War has proven to be an inevitable part of the human experience; while it might appear that individuals fight to much better or safeguard their way of livings, the result of war, as conveyed by Holden, will always bring about the loss of humanity and innocence. It is not simply that Holden hesitates of their adult years and is attempting to protect youth; he is afraid of war itself and its unfavorable results. It appears that the war impacted Salinger’s writing; if it did not, Salinger would not have actually developed the main character as someone who is so protective of innocence. Among the best impacts of war is the destruction of innocence, and offered the method Holden acts towards youth, it is obvious that Salinger understood this. Holden attempts so frantically to protect Phoebe from this vulgar language, as he so clearly wants to protect her innocence. Deep in his heart, nevertheless, Holden understands the reality: even “If you had a million years to do it in, you couldn’t rub out even half the “F *** you” signs in the world. It’s difficult” (Salinger 274). He understands the result of war is inevitable, and he knows that war is harmful to preserving innocence. The war impacts his speech in this method; Holden’s love for innocence wouldn’t have actually been nearly as great if Catcher weren’t composed during the aftermath of a war.

Holden’s character acts as an unique reminder of the utter pointlessness of the violence that includes war. Holden leaves really couple of concerns to be responded to in concerns to his views of war when he starkly states, “I’m a pacifist” (Salinger 59). Holden’s love of innocence might connect to his pacifist attitude on the planet of war where children are utterly defenseless. They have no power to protect their lives or to take away the lives of others. Holden feels an urge to shield these innocent beings and enable them to play endlessly. When describing what he wishes to make with the rest of his presence, he states, “I ‘d simply be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, however that’s the only thing I ‘d truly like to be” (Salinger 232). He views children’s innocence as an antithesis to the adult years, and he attempts to transform his alienation into something significant by creating himself “the catcher in the rye.” He makes every effort to develop an idea of youth and innocence only in their opposition without really attempting to understand what they suggest. His inability to come up with his own concepts can be gotten in touch with the identity struggles that come with the after-effects of war. During war, individuals lose themselves; knowing this, Salinger may have offered Holden an internal identity battle for this factor. It can be challenging to produce an original identity, and so, just as a baseless identity does not represent the postwar public, Holden’s identity of “the catcher in the rye” does not represent him. The catcher in the rye “is the only thing [he ‘d] like to be” since him being so remains in direct contradiction with who he is (Salinger 232). Holden requires genuineness and creativity but is likewise mindful that both aren’t totally possible, making him a paradoxical and hypocritical character. This irony can correlate to the id that war produces; it is simple to form an unwarranted identity to cope with the trauma that features war, which, paradoxically enough, is precisely what Holden Caulfield does.

The Catcher in the Rye appears to be a basic coming of age story about a young boy who battles with identity and the adult years. Nevertheless, considering its historic context, the book has a much deeper meaning than that. The unique quality of Holden’s language is its triteness; his language does not serve a solid function; all it actually does is offer a sense of the looseness of his ideas. Had the war not occurred throughout the writing of this unique, Holden’s voice and language would have been significantly different. As for his identity struggle, Holden serves to represent the postwar public. Both his language and id identify him as someone who is, in essence, a sensitive youth who represents the consequences of war. Salinger deliberately produced him by doing this; he uses Holden to reveal his anger toward war. The second world war led America to end up being economically flourishing, however, offered the huge loss of innocent lives, the nation was heavily wounded. Salinger recognized this, and he produced the book and the character for this reason; he exposed the destructive effects of the war through Holden Caulfield, and successfully so– he handled to expose not only the pointlessness of war, however the brokenness of America. From this, the reader can think about essential questions: if World War II didn’t occur, would Salinger have even composed the novel? If World War II had not triggered Salinger to hate war, would an angsty teenager named Holden Caulfield ever have roamed the streets of New york city?

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