In the beginning of The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield is an immature teenager. Holden gets kicked out of his school, Pencey Prep, for failing four out of five of his classes. He says, “They kicked me out. I wasn’t supposed to come back after Christmas vacation … I was flunking four subjects and not applying myself and all” (Salinger 4). Holden does not yet realize the severity of his actions. He does not comprehend that when he does not apply himself, he does not do well. This could partly be due to the fact that when he gets kicked out of one school, he knows that his family will just pay for him to be allowed into another boarding school. Part of the irony in Holden’s story is that physically, he looks mature, but mentally, he is still very much a child: “I act quite young for my age, sometimes. I was sixteen then, and I’m seventeen now … I’m six foot two and a half and I have gray hair ” (9). There is no middle ground, adolescence, for Holden. He can only be an adult, physically, or a child, mentally. Holden’s history teacher, Mr. Spencer, tries to appeal to him by using a metaphor: “Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules” (8). Holden then reflects on this to hims...
... middle of paper ...
... the other children on the carrousel reaching for their gold rings he realizes, “If they fall off, they fall off” (211). This is so significant because Holden becomes conscious of the fact that whatever happens, happens. He cannot control or protect anyone, or himself, from the future. Holden’s last two sentences of the novel really capture the entire journey he has gone through: “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody” (214). This is Holden getting over everything that has happened to him. He understands that he can overcome what has happened from him in order to learn from his past and move forward to the future.
In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield goes on a psychological journey that forces him to grow up. He starts off as an immature teenager. However, through his experiences he is able to become a mature young man.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Modern era is classified as the period that started as the World War I ended. There where huge changes in technology. International corporations began to rise in power. They began to “westernize” with values, such as the appeal to industrialization, personal political rights, democracy, a background of knowledge in mass and education, private ownership of the means of production, the scientific method, public institutions, a questioning in God, and the independence of woman. Then by the year 1939 the Second World War took place and as it ended a new literary period began to form.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]
1815 words (5.2 pages)
- 1. The Catcher in the Rye was written by J.D. Salinger and is a fictional coming of age story. 2. Holden Caulfield is a teenager who has been kicked out Pencey Prep School for failing almost all of his classes. Holden goes to visit the teacher of one of his classes at Pencey Prep where his teacher advises him on what to do with the next step of his life. Holden then returns to his room and talks with his roommate, Ward Stradlater, and another student, Robert Ackley. Stradlater leaves on a date and when he returns, he and Holden get into a fight.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield]
1694 words (4.8 pages)
- People rebel for a cause. In the book “The Catcher in the Rye” , the protagonist, Holden Caulfield is living in a school called Pencey Prep. Holden is failing all of his classes except English, and he often curses and smokes cigarettes in his dorm. One of Holden’s main problems in life is the death of his brother Allie. Allie, who died of leukemia 3 years prior to the events of the book, was the only person who deeply understood Holden. When Allie died, Holden broke all of the windows in his garage while breaking his own hand.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye Essays]
1906 words (5.4 pages)
- In Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield is confronted with the difficulties of both humanity and life as he struggles to find direction, as well as a connection to a world which he has lost faith in. From the very beginning of the novel, the reader can appreciate and relate to Holden’s criticism and condemnation about society and the way people in society govern themselves. “Phoniness”, a reoccurring motif in the novel, is one of Holden’s most favorite conceptions, and is his catch phrase for describing the superf... [tags: Character Profile, Phoniness]
1296 words (3.7 pages)
- On the surface Holden Caulfield may appear to be wise, however, upon closer examination of his actions it becomes apparent that his true nature is very foolish. He told us the story of when he left Pencey, and we got the chance to journey around New York City with him. Throughout the story, we witnessed many of Holden's actions, and we heard the thoughts going on inside his head. The way he calls people "phonies" and acts like he isn't a fake liar, or how he has very good manners, can give you the impression that he's wise (Salinger 6).... [tags: actions, phony, statements]
635 words (1.8 pages)
- William Golding once said, “The only choice that really matters, is the interpretation of the story, is your own. Not your teacher 's, not your professor 's”. Holden Caulfield’s evolving circumstances and troubled past allows the reader to have strong cathartic moments whilst reading the story. In J.D Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield’s innocence causes the reader to feel appreciative towards his personality and attitude through his coming of `age. Comparably, Holden’s troubled past which he has presented throughout the story allows the reader to feel sympathy emotions towards what he’s been through as a person (mortalities).... [tags: Emotion, The Reader, The Catcher in the Rye]
1235 words (3.5 pages)
- ... He is failing school on purpose so that he can stay back and be a kid forever. Throughout the story Holden refuses to take the responsibility to communicate with other people that may help him. For example, when he is kicked out of Pencey he does not go and talk to his parents directly because he is too afraid to assume the consequences of his actions. After Holden gets of the train he tries to give someone a call but can’t think of who to call. “My kid sister Phoebe goes to bed around nine o’clock--so I couldn’t call her up.... [tags: childhood, adulthood, transition]
994 words (2.8 pages)
- The Complexity of Holden Caulfield J.D Salinger writes from personal experience in his novel, The Catcher in the Rye. The American author lived in New York City and attended a Manhattan public school for most of his adolescence before attending a boarding school that he soon left. He also suffered a mental breakdown while serving in the army. His experiences were a major part in not only the plot of his novel, but in building the character of Holden Caulfield. As the male protagonist in this coming of age novel, Holden Caulfield was faced with several obstacles to overcome.... [tags: Character Analysis]
1962 words (5.6 pages)
- The Misfit Hero of The Catcher In The Rye The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger was published in 1951. "A recurring theme in J.D. Salinger's stories concerns people who don't fit in with the traditional American Culture. Salinger's 'misfit heroes', unlike the rest of society, are caught in the struggle between a superficial world and a conscious morality" (1 Wildermuth). In his attempt to create a new and realistic portrayal of the times, Salinger first, effectively creates Holden Caulfield, the main character.... [tags: Catcher Rye Essays]
2104 words (6 pages)
- Holden's Escape of Corruption Through Childhood and Innocence in The Catcher in the Rye Works Cited Missing Holden Caulfield was in conflict with the society he was living in. He regarded it as corrupted and totally insincere; and therefore he attempted to escape from falling into this corruption of adulthood, by holding onto his childhood innocence.... [tags: The Catcher in the Rye]
1702 words (4.9 pages)