Free Essay on The Catcher in the Rye

Free Essay on The Catcher in the Rye

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Free Essay on The Catcher in the Rye


        The catcher in the rye is a work of fiction and a

 tragic-comedy. I came to choose it because I heard it is about a

boy who is around my age.


        In this book, the main character, Holden Caulfield, tells

us a story about what happened during his Christmas vacation.

Holden is a sixteen-year-old boy who has flunked out of a private

prep school. Because he is afraid that his parents would find out

this fact, he goes to a hotel in New York City instead of going

home after he leaves school for Christmas vacation. In New York,

many things happen to him within a few days. For example, he goes

to the hotel bar and meets three women after he first arrives

there. The women go away soon after he fails to talk with them,

and Holden feels lonely and depressed. He goes to another bar to

find someone to spend some time with, but he fails to find anyone

to talk to and comes back to the hotel feeling more depressed. In

the hotel, he meets a prostitute, but he sends her back without

having sex because he feels depressed and sorry for her. He was

further disappointed  when she tries to rob him of his money even

though he tries to be nice to her. In the next morning, he has a

date with an old girl friend, and asks her to flee from this

corrupt world and live in the woods with him. However, she tells

him he is crazy and then leaves him. Holden meets some more

people later, but they also cannot solve his problems, and he

feels more and more depressed and lonely. He finally decides to

run away and live as a deaf-mute who will not need to communicate

with anyone. Before leaving, he goes to say good-bye to his

little sister, Pheobe, who he admires the most. While talking and

playing with her, Holden changes his mind and decides to rejoin

his family and because he realizes there are many things that he

cannot solve by himself.


        The theme of this novel is how innocence is corrupted by

society. Holden thinks everybody who is grown up is a phony

because their behavior and advice are all false. The title of

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this book is based on an old game where someone catches children

from falling off a cliff. This symbolizes that Holden wants to be

the catcher in the rye because he wants to protect the

vulnerable, especially to prevent small children from losing

their innocence and becoming corrupted by society as they grow



        Holden Caulfield is an amusing character because he talks

about everyone without my respect, but with much irreverence.

This is shown thorough the language he uses which includes slang

and swear words. Even though Holden believes in honesty or

innocence, he is a pessimistic character because he seems to find

something depressing in almost everything and everyone. He is

also a depressed character because he feels alone in the most of

the time, and he never finds any place where he feels

comfortable. He doesnÕt fit into this society where many people

live by false values and take advantage of others. This is shown

very well when he says:




        ÒI keep picturing all these little kids playing some game

in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids,

nobodyÕs around- nobody big, I mean- except me. And IÕm 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

theyÕre running and they donÕt look theyÕre going I have to come

out from somewhere and catch them. ThatÕs all IÕd do all day. IÕd

just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know itÕs crazy, but

thatÕs the only thing IÕd really like to be.Ó




        This shows HoldenÕs compassion and sensitivity very well,

but I feel sorry for him because nobody can understand his dream,

and it is not realistic. Holden seems to be too good a person to

be in this corrupt world.



        The style of this book is unusual because it is told by a

sixteen-year-old boy who appears to be sympathetic since he is so

amusing. However, one of the problems with this style is that

some of the things he observes might not be true, but somewhat

exaggerated and biased. We are not very sure that he is even

mentally stable since he tells us the story from a hospital bed.

Despite these things, this style is highly effective because it

makes us very involved with him and sympathetic to him.


        I liked this book very much because it talks about the

concerns of teenagers who feels the pressures of society. The

some parts of the message of this book can be dangerous because

they suggests rejecting school or society, but it also made me

think about many things filled with the false standards, and I

could find some of the real truths. I also appreciate the way

Holden talks which is very comical even though heÕs dealing with

a serious and sad subject.

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