• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Catcher In the Rye.

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level J.D. Salinger section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level J.D. Salinger essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Why is symbolism in the Catcher in the Rye so important?

    4 star(s)

    We see this through his fascination with Robert Burns' poem. He wants to be 'the catcher in the rye'(173), he wants to catch the children and stop them from falling off 'the cliff' of childhood innocence into the misery of adulthood.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss the view that in "Behind the Scenes at the Museum" and "Catcher in ...

    4 star(s)

    We don't appear get a true picture of Mr Antolini, we might feel strongly towards him although we don't know what he's really like. Holden often makes snap judgments about people and perhaps realises that he is often unfair, only to change his opinion creating ambiguousness.

  1. Peer reviewed

    'Holden's quest is an impossible one; it is a quest for the preservation of ...

    4 star(s)

    In any case, it is clear that Holden is not the paragon of virtue he often makes himself out to be. We likewise note that, despite Holden's reluctance to become an adult, he has a penchant for swearing, cigarettes and alcohol, traditional trappings of adulthood, revealing the degree to which

  2. a letter to holden caulfield

    of things, like when I'd teach them addition in terms the number of objects in the classroom. They'd always approach me with their difficulties, with that smile, that made me feel what a big difference I was making in their lives.

  1. Why does Holden fear adulthood?

    Children are safe, protected or they can feel safe by having a blanket or in this case Holden's hunting hat. "My hunting hat really gave me quite a lot of protection, in a way, but I got soaked anyway. I didn't care though, I felt so damn happy."(Pg 213).

  2. Theme in The Catcher in the Rye.

    wishes he could live.It is significant that in the final sentence Holden uses the second-person pronoun "you" instead of the first-person "me." It seems to be an attempt to distance himself from the inevitable process of change. But the impossibility of such a fantasy is the tragedy of Holden's situation:

  1. How does the reliability of the narrator, and they style they use, affect the ...

    However this desperation and lack of realisation also has another effect on the reader. It makes us warm to Holden greatly. We feel very sorry for him as we can see how desperate and unhappy he is, even though he is never too revealing in what he says.

  2. Catcher in the Rye: Close Reading

    In the scene Holden doesn't want others to view him as a "phony," but he will be able to do everything a "phony" does. We see many examples of this throughout the scene with the prostitute. Holden first meets the elevator boy who is also trading in prostitutes, he offers a prostitute to Holden.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work