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Themes in The Catcher in the Rye

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Zayar Phyo 11th September 2004 English (10 C) Themes in The Catcher in the Rye In The Catcher in the Rye written by J.D. Salinger in 1951, shows about the teenage life and thoughts. This novel is written in Holden Caulfield's point of view. This helps the reader to know and understand more about him. Holden is a teenage boy from 1940s who doesn't like phony but he himself is a phony. His thoughts and his characteristics are different from most of the teenagers. This novel reveals several themes. Three of the most important themes are how does Holden view the world that he is living in, loss of innocence and his depression and loneliness. Holden's view of the world as phony is a very strong one and in most cases is correct. Holden thinks that the majority of the people in the world are pretending to impress and befriend with other people. In a way Holden is probably correct in thinking that most of the people he comes in contact with are phony such as his roommate at Pencey, Ward Stradlater. ...read more.


His desire towards preventing children's innocence can be inferred when Phoebe ask him about what he wants to be. He thinks for a moment and replies that at some time in the future, he wants to be the only adult with all the little kids playing some games in the big field of rye and he will stand on the edge of a cliff and catch anyone who is going to fall off the edge of the cliff. He desires to be the catcher in the rye because he wants to save all the little children from the phony behavior of the adults in the world. He wants to prevent the children from making the mistake of becoming phony. He got this image from his mishearing of singing by the boy. It is a line from the Robert Burns poem, "if a body catch a body comin' through the rye." Holden tries to save the purity and innocence of the children around him but after he sees the graffiti and can not erase it he starts to realize that he is powerless to save children's innocence in this world. ...read more.


And also throughout the novel, Holden seems to be excluded from and offended by the world around him. As he says to Mr. Spencer, he feels trapped on "the other side" of life, and he continually attempts to find his way in a world in which he feels he doesn't belong. You can see that Holden's isolation causes most of his pain. He never shows his own emotions directly, and doesn't try to solve his problems. He needs contact and love, but his thought that most of the people in the world are phony that prevents him from looking for communication with others. He wants the meaningful connection like he once has with Jane Gallagher. But he isolates himself from society and these cause him loneliness and depression. So in this novel, the teenage boy, Holden Caulfield, views the world as an evil and corrupt place which is full with phony people. He wants to prevent children from getting to adulthood and doesn't want children to lose their innocence. Through out this whole novel Holden expresses his loneliness and depressions in many ways. ...read more.

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