Holden is afraid of growing up and becoming an adult – Discuss J.D. Salinger’s unique novel ‘The catcher in the Rye’ explores the life of a cynical teenager, Holden Caulfield, who is stuck between childhood and adulthood. Salinger highlights that Holden’s goal is to resist the process of maturity and entering adulthood. This is evidenced and demonstrated by Holden’s persistent fear of change, his strong opinion on the ‘phonies’ of adult world, his difficulty of moving on from the past and his impulsive personality. Holden’s fear of change contributes to his resistance of the process of maturity.
Holden, the Mature Man Throughout J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, the main character, searches for an impractical ideal-- to cling onto his childhood and his innocence. Believing that children are pure and that all grown-ups are “phonies,” Holden’s quest is to preserve childhood within himself and children around him. Placing symbols to stress Holden’s immaturity and impossible ideal, Salinger illustrates his unrealistic goals. Although Holden remains immature for the majority of the novel, as the story progresses, Holden becomes a new person and discovers his true self.
The process of growing up and coming of age comes with the loss of innocence. In J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, the theme of innocence and protecting it, is seen through the actions of the protagonist, Holden Caulfield. Holden is stuck in the awkward stage between childhood and adulthood. He often sees himself as a protector of the innocent, however he still holds innocence and longs for it himself. That is why, through Salinger’s work, we see the theme of innocence develop through Holden’s desires, fantasies and actions.
Standing on the precipice that separates the rye field of childhood from the cliff of adulthood, Holden wants to protect childhood innocence from the fall into disillusionment that necessarily accompanies adulthood. Trapped between states, with his innocence in jeopardy, Holden wants to be a “catcher in the rye,” a saviour of the innocence missing in the world around him, a world that has let him fall over the cliff into adulthood alone. Holden’s mistake about the line from the Robert Burns song—his substitution of “catch a body” for “meet a body”—is highly significant, as its placement in the novel’s title suggests. Burns’s song “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye” exists in several versions, each with somewhat different lyrics. In some versions, the song is about a woman who has gotten her clothes wet while she was out in a rye field, while in other versions the speaker of the song is a woman discussing being out in a rye field.
And another thing he says is that he wants to be a “catcher in the Rye” to save the kids lives so that they won’t fall off the cliff. I don’t think Holden is as perfect as he wants to be I think he only judges people and calls them a phony, because he probably does things like they do that he hates doing himself. There’s parts in the book were Holden acts like a phony and sometimes is a hypocrite , he contradicts himself, for example when he tells he hates the movies but then again he also tells that he likes attending them with her sister and with his friends. I can’t say Holden is a phony because he judges people in his mind and he admits he’s a liar, his attitude is like many people. Yes Holden does criticize people a lot but he never tells them and he never hurt anyone.
The museum goes along with Holden’s idea of the perfect world, where everything is infinite, reliable, and simplistic. “Certain things should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone” (Holden, 122). The museum also adds to Holden’s depression because he realizes that while everything stays the same there, he is growing older/changing and has no control over it. Holden’s views on the innocence of kids and innocence in general, is greatly altered by the profanity he finds on the walls.
How does J. D. Salinger use symbolic imagery to enhance the characters and/or purpose of the text? In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger introduces a young boy named Holden who is expelled from school and wanders the streets of New York for 3 days. Holden fears change in the world and seeks company which he constantly drives away with his own self isolation. J. D. Salinger uses symbolic imagery to allow the reader access into Holden’s thoughts which in turn reinforces the underlying purpose of the text. The author uses the symbolic imagery of the red hat, ducks and carrousel to link to the novel’s themes of innocence, grief and change.
Below is a free essay on "Catcher In The Rye Symbolism" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples. In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye Holden Caulfield is fearful of change and growing into adulthood. This fact is quite obvious due to his attitudes towards the following symbols. Each of them represents a different perspective or feeling Holden has towards people or usually a customary or “phony” way of living.
As a result of Holden’s resistance to grow up and embrace adulthood, he instantly alienates himself from the world and those around him leaving him lonely and vulnerable. In the aftermath of enduring several negative encounters, Holden reaches emotional collapse. He tells the story as a monologue, from a mental facility where he has been recovering from the stress of the experiences he reflects upon. The character of Holden Caulfield is introduced to us as an adolescent who is immature and as a result, ostracised from his peers. The first time that we see Holden show his inability to accept responsibly for his actions is when he leaves his team’s fencing equipment on the subway, and he says “It wasn’t all my fault.” As the captain of the team, Holden should have been taking care of the equipment and using his authority to make sure everything went smoothly.
Unreachable Dreams in The Catcher in The Rye Many people find that their dreams are unreachable. Holden Caulfield realizes this in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. As Holden tells his story, he recounts the events since leaving the Pencey School to his psychiatrist. At first, Holden sounds like a typical, misguided teenager, rebellious towards his parents, angry with his teachers, and flunking out of school.