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The Catcher In the Rye.

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Introduction

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE READING ANSWER Holden Caulfield is in many ways a typical teenager, doubtful of all authority and with a bad-tempered attitude. Within the first several paragraphs he dismisses his parents as "touchy" and his brother as a sell out to Hollywood consumerism, yet provides no real description of their personality. Holden dislike every character he mentions and all of the actions they undertake. Apart from his younger sister Phoebe. Who he lavishes nearly unconditional praise on her, detailing without any sense of sarcasm of her intelligence and talents. He even appears charmed by her foibles, such as misspelling the name of her girl detective the fascination that Holden has for Phoebe seems part of a longing for childhood.' Significantly, Holden compares her to Allie, one of the few other characters for whom Holden does not express contempt. These two characters, along with Jane Gallagher, represent for Holden a sense of innocence and childhood. Phoebe is still a child, Allie never had the change to mature, and Jane exists for Holden as an innocent girl playing checkers. The first major sign we get of the source of Holden Caulfield's psychological troubles is when he was describing the composition that he have to writes for Stradlater. ...read more.

Middle

These details build up throughout the chapter to Holden's final revelation that he is considering suicide. Although he finally dismisses the idea of jumping out the window because of the particular details of his death, this is a clear sign of Holden's despair. JD Salinger clearly foreshadows that Holden will engage in some suicidal action. This could possibly be one of the reasons why he is in psychiatric care at the start of the book. After Holden drops Phoebe's record he went to Central Park and sits down on a bench. Once again he thought he was going to die but this time he thinks that he will get pneumonia and imagines his funeral. He imagines his funeral as if it is an impending event, yet is curiously ambivalent about the consequences. His only concern is not whether or not he will die, but how Phoebe will react to his death. Holden views his sister with a sense of wonder: he recounts with a sentimental admiration in each aspect of Phoebe's life, viewing her as a compete innocent. Of all the characters in "The Catcher in the Rye", Phoebe is the only one that Holden treats with any degree of tenderness or respect. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, like all others adults in the story, Holden Feels that Mr.Antolini betray his trust. When Holden awakens to find Mr. Antolini touching his head, he immediately concludes the worst, suspecting him of "fitty" behaviour. However, Holden is particularly unreliable narrator, coming to Mr. Antolini's apartment naturally suspicious of all adults and perhaps still drunk from the evening's adventure. It seems unlikely that Mr. Antloini had any nasty intention, yet Holden suspects the worst. Once again Holden must escape from a situation to avoid any sort of difficult disagreement. Holden sees this once-respected teacher as a predator. Holden becomes increasingly paranoid and delusional towards the end of the book. He operates under the theory that he will not survive much longer, like when he is convinced that he will not get to the other side of the street. Holden's comments become increasingly random and disorganized, like when he obsesses over the graffiti on the school. Holden's obsession with the swear word is important, for it shows his dislike for anything that may corrupt the innocence of children. Holden wishes to shelter children from any adult experiences, revealing his own fear of maturity. Gioia C Wu ...read more.

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