Catcher in the Rye Essay

In: Novels

Submitted By hkimchee
Words 2434
Pages 10

Both J.D Salinger’s 1951 Bildungsroman novel The Catcher in the Rye and Burr Steer’s film Igby Goes Down, demonstrate that regardless of context, the youth will choose not to conform to socially held values. We can see that this is the manifestation of the vulnerability and hesitation experienced as adolescents like us grow up. Ultimately both these texts explore the search for identity and individualism as a cause for non-conformity. The Catcher in the Rye was written during a post war era and a time of drastic social change. However, many of its conservative values remained and most importantly, the notion of youth conformity was held in high regard. On the other hand, Igby Goes Down is set in the 1980s -1990’s American era, a time of expanding multi national corporations, materialism and commercialism. Salinger and Steers utilise the characterisation of their young, sardonic and rebellious protagonists, Holden and Igby to epitomise non-conformity. The composers allude to the recurring theme of isolation and alienation in both texts. As a result of their non-conformity, the protagonists experience rejection and depression as they search for their selfhood. Similarly, the national ethos of the American Dream is explored as a mere fallacy, and both composers portray this through their protagonist’s wealthy backgrounds and opulent upbringings and yet money doesn’t bring them happiness. Salinger, through literary devices and Steers, through cinematic techniques effectively convey that youth will always refuse to conform regardless of context because conforming denies individuality.

Salinger in his novel The Catcher in The Rye explores the ideas of non-conformity in association with Holden Caulfield’s isolation and alienation. The 1950’s Conservative American context demanded adolescents such as Holden…...

Similar Documents

Catcher in the Rye

...In the novel, "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D Salinger, the main character, Holden, is a teenager who refuses to grow up because he is naively fixated on childhood. Throughout the novel, Holden struggles through teenage life because he cannot accept the given responsibilities that come with growing up. Holden is obsessed with childhood because he chooses to be wedged between a world of the innocence of children and the complex world of adulthood. Holden deities his two younger siblings as if they're candidates for sainthood because of his fixation. Holden is a teenager who refuses to grow up because he is afraid of gaining the responsibilities that come with it. So, Holden struggles hard to stay childish. For example, throughout the book, he does not want to take responsibility to communicate with others that may want to help him. He refuses to go home and confront his parents and face the consequences. Along with this, he also pulls the childish silent treatment toward his parents; because that's the only knife he has to hurt them: ."..she wouldn't've been the ones that answered the phone. My parents would be the ones. So that was out." (pg. 59) He is afraid to talk to people close to him because they'll be critical to him. This would also explain his lack of interaction with Jane Gallagher: ."..I kept standing there, of giving old Jane a buzz- I mean calling her long distance at B.M... The only reason I didn't call him was because I wasn't in the mood." (pg. 63) Since he......

Words: 2062 - Pages: 9

The Catcher in the Rye

...Multiple Critical Perspectives ™ Teaching J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye from Multiple Critical Perspectives by Stephanie Polukis ™ Multiple Critical Perspectives The Catcher in the Rye General Introduction to the Work Introduction to The Catcher in the Rye S ince The CaTCher in The rye was published in 1951, the book has received mixed reviews. While sev- eral critics commend Salinger’s thorough development of the narrator, the realistic use of vernacular in the narration, and the accurate portrayal of post-World War II teenage life, others feel that the novel is perverse and immoral. In fact, The Catcher in the Rye was on the public school’s banned book list for its use of profane language, depiction of underage drinking, and sexual allusions. However, regardless of the challenges to the novel, the book was a New York Times Bestseller for thirty weeks, and remains popular in the twenty-first century. While the novel in its present form is roughly 214 pages long, the story evolved from short stories published by J.D. Salinger in the 1940s. “I’m Crazy,” published by Collier’s magazine in 1945, developed into the conversation with Mr. Spencer in Chapter 2 and Holden’s visit to Phoebe in Chapters 22 and 23. While the story features Holden, the Spencers, and Phoebe, it also includes Jeanette—the housekeeper— and Viola—Holden’s youngest sister, who have both been omitted from the novel. Salinger’s “Slight Rebellion Off......

Words: 2007 - Pages: 9

Catcher in the Rye Essay

...Holden Caulfield is the protagonist in the novel the Catcher in the Rye. The 16 year old boy writes of his journey through a personal period in his life. He is alone and desperate for relationships. He feels as if everyone despises him and he fears the idea of growing up and becoming a “phony.” He is also afraid of death, mainly because of his experience with the death of his little brother Allie. Through his journey he goes from a lonely secluded boy who has nothing figured out to a young adult who has learned to accept others and has a small chance of hope in life. Holden thinks of himself as a sophisticated person who sees and understands all around him, but his not. Really he is just a kid at heart and wishes to stay a kid forever. He has a theory that children are pure and the epitome of innocence and once they grow up and become adults they become impure and corrupt, and for that reason Holden wishes to stay a kid forever. This causes Holden to be slightly distant from others and not very friendly. This isolation hurts him and tries to find way to communicate with others but can’t. With all of the personal problems his dealing with his school life suffers. He had dropped out of prep school and had no apparent plans for the future. Some of his old teachers like Mr. Spencer and Mr. Antolini try to help Holden and give him advice. Mr. Antolini criticizes Holden and Holden is forced to see the problem. Holden is afraid of the adult world and doesn’t want to be a part......

Words: 489 - Pages: 2

A Catcher in the Rye

...A Catcher in the Rye: Essay!!! Feelings are difficult, everyone who has ever experienced; love, pain, rejection, happiness etc. honestly doesn’t know what is causing that feeling or why they feel that way. We react to events with things called emotions, which are types of feelings; they are pretty different from things that happen to you physically. They can make you feel empowered, beat up, stupid, important and many other things. Physical feelings basically go just as fast as they came. Whereas, mental feelings linger and have much more of an effect on how you look at yourself as a person. They can weigh on your mind for hours, days, sometimes even years. This is why being able to talk to people is important. You need to be able to express yourself with confidence. Mainly because if you don’t know how to talk to someone you won’t be able to speak about how you feel and will eventually drive yourself mad. But the important thing is that we speak to the ones who build us up and not knock us down. We never really find out who or what type of people they are until they reject us in our time of need, and then we recognize their true colors. In this novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” Holden has this MAJOR mixture of emotions that he simply cannot handle alone. First off pick the time and correct place to be venting to someone about your feelings so that they aren’t overly shocked by what you are telling them. What Holden could have done, considering he has been getting “the......

Words: 1273 - Pages: 6

Catcher in the Rye Thematic Essay

...In The Catcher and the Rye, written by J.D Salinger, we are introduced to Holden Caulfield , the 17 year old narrator and protagonist of the novel. In the beginning of the story Holden is at a resting home in California. Holden tells the readers what happened to him over a two day period in the previous December. In this essay I will identify a theme from this story and explain how it is developed in the novel. In my opinion an important theme of the Catcher in the Rye is the painfulness of growing up. Many people interpreted this novel to be a coming of age novel, due to the fact that it talks about issues teenagers go through. Readers can relate to Holden Caulfield because of his disdain to the process of maturity. For example, in chapter 16, Holden's thoughts about the Museum of Natural History establishes Holden's fear on change and how overwhelmed he is of complexity. Holden wants everything to be easy to understand and a fixed, An example of this is the statues of Eskimos and Native Americans in the museum. Holden doesn't really understand whats going on around him. He acknowledges this fear with his confusion on sex, “sex is something I just don't understand. I swear to God I don't”. Holden invents a fantasy that being an adult is a world of superficiality and phoniness. Holden also feels that childhood is a world of innocence, curiosity, and honesty. In my opinion, Holden's view on childhood and adulthood are immature and foolish. Holden conceptions are very......

Words: 679 - Pages: 3

Catcher in the Rye Essay on the Immaturity of Holden Caufield

...In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher is the Rye, the protagonist Holden Caufield emerges from a trying and emotional series of events and does not grow emotionally but remains as immature as he was at the beginning of the novel. The story is about the difficulties of growing up. Most people come out of their teenager years as more responsible and mature people. Holden goes through many stressful events during the weekend, but instead of coming out more mature and grown up, he still has the same childish views on life; he is violent minded, depressed, confused, and irresponsible. Throughout the whole novel, Holden fantasizes about killing people, he is baffled by sex, and he does not think out his actions. During the beginning of the story, Holden thinks about killing people many times. He wanted to kill Stradlater, his roommate, for dating Jane Gallagher, his old friend. Holden knew what kind of guy Stradlater was and he was afraid he took advantage of Jane. Holden actually does fight Stradlater but gets hurt pretty badly. He then puts his hunting hat on and says it is a “people shooting” hat. Later on in the story, Holden again thinks about killing people. When Maurice, the pimp, hurts Holden and steals his money, Holden pretends that he had been shot in the stomach and his guts were falling out. He then pretends that he is staggering down the stairs with a gun to shoot Maurice and get revenge. Holden does not actually do this, but it shows how he is immature and violent. Also,...

Words: 949 - Pages: 4

Catcher in the Rye

... The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger. Originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage angst and alienation. It has been translated into almost all of the world's major languages. Around 250,000 copies are sold each year with total sales of more than 65 million books. The novel's protagonist Holden Caulfield has become an icon for teenage rebellion. The novel was included on Time's 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923, and it was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. In 2003, it was listed at number 15 on the BBC's survey The Big Read. The novel also deals with complex issues of identity, belonging, connection, and alienation. Plot summary Holden begins his story at Pencey Prep, an exclusive private school in Agerstown, Pennsylvania, on the Saturday afternoon of the traditional football game with rival school Saxon Hall. Holden misses the game. As manager of the fencing team, he loses their equipment on a New York City subway train that morning, resulting in the cancellation of a match. He goes to the home of his History teacher named Mr. Spencer. Holden has been expelled and is not to return after Christmas break, which begins the following Wednesday. Spencer is a well-meaning but long-winded middle-aged man. To Holden's annoyance, Spencer reads aloud Holden's History paper, in which......

Words: 3119 - Pages: 13

Catcher in the Rye and Perks of Being a Wallflower Comparative Essay

...The novels the Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger and the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky are both coming of age novels. The Catcher in the Rye is set around the 1950s and is narrated by sixteen year old Holden Caulfield. Holden is very judgemental, especially when it comes to people he has categorized as phony. The perk of being a wallflower is set in the 90s and is narrated by Charlie who is a freshman in high school. Charlie is quiet, keeps to himself, and does not enjoy being the center of attention. As most adolescents attempt to find their place in the world they often find mentors to help guide them through conflict. Both Holden and Charlie search for the meaning of their lives, go through conflict, and find someone to help guide them. Both novels are coming of age books because the main characters search for meaning in their life. Holden has trouble staying in one place for too long, for example he has been expelled from four schools. This is because he is constantly searching for his perfect world that has no phonies. While he is trying to find a place with no phonies or adults he says: 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. (Salinger 173) Holden is describing to his sister......

Words: 1081 - Pages: 5

Catcher in the Rye

...In the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Mr. Antolini (an English teacher) tells the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, "I have a feeling that you're riding for some kind of terrible, terrible fall" (pg. 168). This quote is terribly reflective of and true to Holden's experiences that he accounts in the novel. The entire novel is essentially Holden's account of the time between leaving Pencey Preparatory School and his institutionalization (which is revealed at the end of the novel). We can only assume that Holden has been sent to see "this one psychoanalyst guy" (pg. 192) because of his gradual mental breakdown or "fall" that is apparent throughout his narrative. This essay will recognize and trace the multiple signs, explanations and testaments of Holden's declining mental state. It is important to include Holden's past in this account and analysis of Holden's mental decline because Holden's past affects everything he does and contributes to his feelings of loneliness, depression and confusion. A supporting argument for this can be found by looking at causes for "mental breakdowns." Some common causes* of mental breakdowns that apply to Holden's particular case are: unresolved grief (as far as we know, Holden never received closure about his brother Allie's death or the suicide of a fellow student, James Castle.), academic problems (Holden failed out of three separate private schools), social stress (Holden tries and fails to connect to several characters such as...

Words: 1064 - Pages: 5

Catcher in the Rye

...Catcher in the Rye Essay Innocence Themes in literary works are recurring, unifying subjects or ideas, motifs that allow us to understand more deeply the characters and their world. In The Catcher in the Rye, the major themes reflect the values and motivations of the characters. Some of these themes are outlined in the following sections. As its title indicates, the dominating theme of The Catcher in the Rye is the protection of innocence, especially of children. For most of the book, Holden sees this as a primary virtue. It is very closely related to his struggle against growing up. Holden's enemy is the adult world and the cruelty and artificiality that it entails. The people he admires all represent or protect innocence. He thinks of Jane Gallagher, for example, not as a maturing young woman but as the girl with whom he used to play checkers. He goes out of his way to tell us that he and Jane had no sexual relationship. Quite sweetly, they usually just held hands. Holden comforted Jane when she was distressed, and it bothers him that Jane may have been subjected to sexual advances from her drunken stepfather or from her date, Holden's roommate, Stradlater. Holden's secret goal is to be "the catcher in the rye." In this metaphor, he envisions a field of rye standing by a dangerous cliff. Children play in the field with joy and abandon. If they should come too close to the edge of the cliff, however, Holden is there to catch them. His attitude seems to shift near the......

Words: 498 - Pages: 2

Catcher in the Rye Essay

...Catcher in the Rye essay After reading “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D Salinger, it is clear that the main character, Holden is a “phony” himself and his negative attitude reveals his psychological problems. In the story, whenever Holden sees a person he doesn’t like that makes themselves out to be something they’re not, he calls them phonies. He strongly dislikes phonies and despises any type of interaction with them. Holden continues this negative attitude towards everything in his life revealing some of his issues and keeping him from growing up. Holden encounters many phonies throughout his travels from boarding school to boarding school. He claims most of his “friends” to be phonies because of their lying but he has yet to realize that the biggest phony amongst them is staring at him in the mirror. On his train ride to New York, after being kicked out of Pencey, Holden meets the mother of one of his acquaintances from Pencey, Ernest Morrow. According to the story, When Mrs. Morrow asks Holden his name, he tells her his name is Rudolf Schmidt. Holden had no reason to lie to her, he just felt the need to. He has never met her before and probably will not see her ever again and still feels like he need to lie to her. As the conversation continues, Mrs. Morrow questions why Holden is leaving for break so early, Holden states “I have to have this operation…I have this tiny tumor on my brain” (58). Instead of explaining to her that he had gotten kicked out of Pencey due to...

Words: 721 - Pages: 3

Catcher in the Rye

...Catcher in the Rye: FLE In J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield expresses his love of innocence as he sees it in others, in numerous ways. He demonstrates this through the way he talks about others and the way he acts around them. We learn that Holden lost his own innocence at an early age after his “perverty” (193) encounter with Mr. Antolini. Because of this, he cherishes, and wants to protect innocence in others. This is really a reflection of his desire to be innocent himself. Allie is a paragon of innocence to Holden. I know he’s dead! Don’t you think I know that? I can still like him, though, can’t I? Just because somebody’s dead, you don’t just stop liking them, for God’s sake–especially if they were a thousand times nicer than the people you know that’re alive and all (171). Innocence is lost in adulthood. Since Allie never becomes an adult, he is for Holden the epitome of innocence, consequently, Holden’s love for him is very deep. Holden’s memories of Allie will always be of an innocent Allie. Holden says that he will not stop liking Allie just because he is dead. The other people he talks about are the adults that Holden sees around him. He does not like any of them because they are phony, and have lost their innocence. Mr. Spencer is one person in the book who definitely has lost his innocence, but Holden does not dislike him. Although Holden says he likes Mr. Spencer, he does imply that Mr. Spencer is a phony. There are......

Words: 1095 - Pages: 5

The Catcher in the Rye Theme Essay

...Iris Berendes-Dean Schaefer English 10A, Pd. 3 15 October 2015 Fearing Maturity Incites Internal Struggles Throughout the generations, all adolescents have had to deal with the internal struggles while coming of age. J.D Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, applies literary devices and language patterns to develop the main character, Holden Caulfield, and his internal struggles and conflicts of maturing into adulthood. Salinger effectively uses Holden’s lies, language of depression, and flashbacks to accurately portray how teenagers often fear growing up, and feel the need to hang onto their innocence. Lying is an effective way for teenagers to hide their emotions and pretend to be someone they’re not, essentially testing the waters of maturity without taking the responsibility. Holden flees Pencey Prep School after being kicked out for failing the majority of his classes, and finds himself on a train sitting next to the mother of one of his classmates, on his way to New York City. Taking a liking to the woman, Holden begins to spin a web of lies. He tells her his name is Rudolf Schmidt and casually adds, “I have to have this operation… It isn’t very serious. I have this tiny little brain tumor on the brain… right near the outside”(58). This single lie entertains Holden, as he would rather talk about something that he has never experienced instead of being truthful about himself. He avoids taking on the responsibility of being mature enough to tell the truth about...

Words: 1353 - Pages: 6

Catcher in the Rye

...Tyler Ryan Professor Wheeler English 101 April 22, 2015 Catcher in the Rye Jerome David (J.D.) Salinger was born on New Year’s Day in the year 1919, in New York City, “the second and last child of Sol and Marie (Miriam) Jillich Salinger” (Alexander 1). As a young boy, Salinger was interested in theatre and dramatics. Growing up, he attended a public school on the Upper West Side in Manhattan. He was always a very quiet and polite young man. His parents, Sol and Marie, thought he would fit in perfectly in a private school – seeing how well-mannered that young Salinger was – they “enrolled him in McBurney School in Manhattan in 1932” (Alexander 2), but, just as one of his most famous characters, Holden Caufield, he did not fit in very well in the private school, struggling to keep his grades satisfactory. Concerned, Salinger’s parents sent him to Valley Forge Military Academy when he was just 15 years old. “There he was active in drama and singing clubs. He sometimes wrote fiction by flashlight under his blankets at night and contributed to the school’s magazine” (Alexander 3). Salinger graduated in June of 1936 from Valley Forge, and then went on to pursue a brief, but significant college career. He began his education at New York University, but quickly dropped out “to try performing as an entertainer on a Caribbean cruise ship” (Alexander 4). When he was 20 years old, he worked toward his college career once again. He enrolled in a class at Columbia University to......

Words: 2078 - Pages: 9

Catcher in the Rye Comparison Essay

...COMPARISON ESSAY CATCHER IN THE RYE & HIGH FIDLEITY By Monica Urbina “The Catcher in the Rye” and “High Fidelity” feature protagonists facing uncertainty. Both Holden’s and Rob’s story is told through their own distressed minds, which often misrepresents the experiences. Their insecure and ‘hot-headed’ personalities lead each character to produce an unreliable first person point of view. Holden and Rob outline their unreliability through their identity issues, their chosen isolation from others and their social interactions/perception of a situation. First of all, Holden and Rob both did not have a strong sense of who they are. They struggled with identity issues several times throughout each novel. Their switch in character often deceived the reader, making analysing the situations and characters more complex. In “The Catcher in the Rye”, Holden, in several cases, is on a search for his identity. He mimicked the personality of others, as well as acted out of character to impress those surrounding him. This was evident quite early in the novel when Holden was accompanied by an older woman on a train. When introducing himself, he says ““Rudolf Schmidt,” I told her. I didn’t feel like giving her my whole life history.” (Salinger pg. 54-55). His only justification for his identity change was that he “just felt like it”. Holden often ends his anecdotes with lines such as “I’m not kidding” or “I really do”. “I get bored sometimes when people tell me to act my age.......

Words: 1104 - Pages: 5

Murdoch Mysteries Season 12 Episode 5 | £0 Shipping | Timber Wine Rack Wooden Storage Organiser Stand 7 12 20 24 30 42 72 110 Bottle