• 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...

Introduction

The Catcher in the Rye. In J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, the cause of Holden Caulfield's depression is his confusion about the societal roles of children and adults. He idolizes children, but wants to be mature; he wants to be mature, yet he thinks adults are "phonies". As evidenced by the "Catcher in the Rye" image, he feels himself to be between childhood and adulthood without belonging anywhere.? Children symbolize perfection in Holden's eyes. He idolizes the dead Allie, almost like the God that is absent from his worldview. From the time the reader is first introduced to Allie, when Holden is thinking about Allie's baseball mitt for Stradlater's composition, Holden is praising him: "He was two years younger than I was, but he was about fifty times as intelligent . . . But it wasn't just that he was the most intelligent member in the family. He was also the nicest, in lots of ways. He never got mad at anybody," (38). Later in the book, Holden prays to Allie to keep him safe or sane or to cheer him up. After Sunny, the prostitute Holden had sent to his room but sent away, leaves his hotel room, he says, "Boy, I felt miserable. I felt so depressed, you can't imagine. What I did, I started talking, sort of out loud, to Allie. ...read more.

Middle

He also says, later, "Even the couple of nice teachers on the faculty, they were phonies, too. There was this one old guy, Mr. Spencer . . . you should have seen him when the headmaster, old Thurmer, came in the history class and sat down in the back of the class . . . After a while, he'd be sitting back there and then he'd start interrupting what old Spencer was saying to crack a lot of corny jokes. Old Spencer'd practically kill himself chuckling and smiling and all, as if Thurmer was a goddam prince or something," (167). Holden also mentions, when talking to Phoebe about Pencey, an old man who came to visit and was look for his initials on the bathroom door, where he had carved them as a student: "He kept talking to us the whole time, telling us how when he was at Pencey they were the happiest days of his life, and giving us a lot of advice for the future and all. Boy, did he depress me! I don't mean he was a bad guy - he wasn't. But you don't have to be a bad guy to depress somebody - you can be a good guy and do it. All you have to do to depress somebody is give them a lot of phony advice - that's all you have to do," (169). ...read more.

Conclusion

That's all I'd do all day," (173). He feels that he is on the edge of "some crazy cliff" - not a child, who would play in the rye, but not an adult who has already fallen over the cliff, either. He doesn't know where he belongs. He goes on to say, "I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy," (173). He cannot think of any other job he would like to have, which indicates that he is not ready for the adult world. And yet, he does not see himself as a child frolicking in the rye.? Holden does not feel accepted or as if he belongs anywhere, and so he is depressed. The depression becomes more acute throughout the story as he seeks out people to spend time with him and care about him. But every attempt fails. He is not adult enough for Carl Luce. He feels he is too adult to ruin Jane's purity. Sally Hayes thinks he's immature. He is too mature to spend all his time with Phoebe. So he is confused, rejected, and depressed throughout the entire book.? ? 344 words ? ? 673 words ? 1032 words ? 1362 words ? 1387 words ?? ?? ?? ?? 91934 ...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. Peer reviewed

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

    4 star(s)

    This can especially be seen in his thoughts about his ten year old sister Phoebe. Holden admires and has deep affection for his young sister who he describes as "so pretty and smart". Sitting on a bench in Central Park Holden is saved from his dark state of despair by

  2. A Rebel on His Way to Adulthood : 'Me, myself and I' vs 'The ...

    accept in order not to go mad and survive: 'No one can grow up if they don't deal with the awful side of themselves that hates everything. To repress it, is to give it power. To let it out to play is to learn to control that side.'18 What is left for an idealist like Holden to do then?

  1. Theme in The Catcher in the Rye.

    But if you get on the other side, where there aren't any hot-shots, then what's a game about it? Nothing. No game. -This quotation is from Holden's conversation with Spencer in Chapter 2. His former teacher is needling him about his failures at Pencey; at this point, he lectures Holden about the importance of playing by the rules.

  2. The Catcher in the Rye

    This is the last time Holden calls out to Allie, which means he is now turning away from the past and death and into a new direction (Miller 141). From this point on, Holden begins making changes and better decisions (Bloom 20).

  1. "The Catcher In The Rye" is a novel that has always attracted controversy.

    He still sees himself as a child and therefore wants to have relationships with children. Paedophilia is an issue that has been becoming more openly discussed because so many more cases are being reported. Holden's attitudes towards children, for example, the incident with the girl in the park who needed

  2. Holden in The Catcher in the Rye

    He has the utmost respect for women and has difficulty acknowledging the maltreatment of them by other males. He tries to be friendly with most of the women he meets in the novel but often, as he always fears, he is rejected by them either on the account of his age or his strange behaviour.

  1. Catcher in the Rye : self knowledge

    my fist, just for the hell of it"(39), the night that Allie had passed away.

  2. The Catcher In The Rye

    The pressure to feel accepted by others made up another component of the immature Holden. Later, during his weekend of freedom in New York, Holden had the chance to "practice" with a hooker provided by the bellhop. When the opportunity to with Sunny arose, Holden's adult personality wished to continue, but his innocence told him otherwise (Kallen 53).

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