Analysis of the Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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Analysis of the Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

This essay will provide a comprehensive analysis of “The Catcher in the Rye.” It will discuss the novel’s themes of alienation, innocence, and identity crisis, and its impact on American literature and culture. At PapersOwl too, you can discover numerous free essay illustrations related to Analysis.

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In Catcher in the Rye written by J.D. Salinger is a novel about a young boy named Holden Caulfield who was raised in a very wealthy family. Holden has a ten-year-old sister named Phoebe and she is his favorite person than the many of the few people he likes. Holden has an older brother, D.B Caulfield. They are very distant because D.B goes to Hollywood and sells books. Holden sees D.B as prostituting his talents by writing for Hollywood movies.

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He doesn’t really see his family a lot not because he can’t, but he chooses not to. Holden seems to be depressed and more to himself. Holden is a young teenager who acts more of an adult. One of the things Holden may be known for is for not liking phonies. And this is one of the Catcher in the Rye essay topics. Holden’s definition of a phony is someone who is wealthy, someone who is not genuine and a fake, but Holden is phony himself too although he might not admit that he is.

One of the examples of Holden’s definition of being a phony is being wealthy, which he already is. Holden comes from a rich and wealthy family. In the novel is says, While I was in the cab, I took out my wallet and sort of counted my money. I don’t remember exactly what I had left, but it was no fortune or anything. I’d spent a king’s ransom in about two lousy weeks. I really had. I’m a goddamn spendthrift at heart. What I don’t spend, I lose. Half the time I sort of even forget to pick up my change, at restaurants and nightclubs and all. It drives my parents crazy. You can’t blame them. My father’s quite wealthy, though.(Salinger, 107). Another example from the novel would be I took out my dough to count it in the lousy light from the street lamp. All I had was three singles and five quarters and a nickel left– boy, I spent a fortune since I left Pencey. Then what I did, I went down near the lagoon and I sort of skipped the quarters and the nickel across it, where it wasn’t frozen. I don’t know why I did it, but I did.(Salinger, 156). These examples verify that Holden is so rich he can really care less about the money and how he’s treating it.

A second reason why Holden is a phony is that he’s not genuine. He is always lying to someone. He never says his real name or he’ll always say he saw or did something to make him seem manlier when he really didn’t. One example of him being a liar is when Holden is at the bar and lies about being 21 to get served alcohol. I can’t sit in a corny place like this sober. Can’tcha stick a little rum in it or something?’ I’m very sorry, sir he said, and beat it on me. I didn’t hold it against him, though. They lose their jobs if they get caught selling to a minor. I’m a goddamn minor. (Salinger, 70). Even at the bar, he lies to the girls saying he saw some famous guy when he didn’t. So I told her I just saw Gary Cooper, the movie star, on the other side of the floor. Where?’ she asked me– excited a hell. Where?’ Aw, you just missed him. He just went out. Why didn’t you look when I told?’–I’d just about broke her heart–I really had. I was sorry as hell I’d kidded her (Salinger, 74). A further example of Holden not being genuine is I’m the most terrific liar you’ve ever seen in your life. (Salinger, 16). Holden is even upfront about being a liar. This proves that he isn’t genuine and lies to get what he wants or to get out of a situation.

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Analysis of the Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. (2019, Sep 08). Retrieved from