Catcher in the rye Essays

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A Catcher in the Rye Theme

Teenage years; a quest for self identity, a sense of self. In trying to find themselves, it’s not uncommon to find a teenager experimenting with smoking, drugs, and sex. Teenagers use vulgar language, and are more rebellious than they were in their earlier years. In A Catcher in the Rye, a 16 year old boy […]

Pages: 2 Words: 643 Topics: Catcher In The Rye

The Catcher in the Rye Symbolism

“ 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.” The hat, mitt, the museum displays, and the little noted details will all be broken down and taken into depth of the title. The title of the story is the […]

Pages: 3 Words: 898 Topics: Catcher In The Rye
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Analysis of the Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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 […]

Pages: 2 Words: 641 Topics: Catcher In The Rye

Catcher in the Rye Growing up Theme

In J.D. Salinger’s, The Catcher in the Rye, Childhood and adolescence are depicted by times of innocence and wonder. Throughout Salinger’s novel, the main character, Holden, struggles with the concept of growing up in life. While Holden, wanting to act more like an adult such as his friends, Holden always finds a way to stay […]

Pages: 2 Words: 592 Topics: Catcher In The Rye

Catcher in the Rye Censorship

Catcher in the Rye may not seem like an age appropriate book for teenagers to be reading during such a confusing time, you cannot judge a book based on the cover or what others may deem as inappropriate. For many many years, this novel has been challenged and even banned in some schools because of […]

Pages: 3 Words: 998 Topics: Catcher In The Rye

About Teenagers’ Mind in the Catcher in the Rye

J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye should be in Penn Manor’s Literature curriculum because of his ability to present an accurate and descriptive representation of a teenagers’ mind; his use of locations as symbols that represent a phony and cruel world; and the depiction of his own life experiences and the conflicts he encountered […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1297 Topics: Catcher In The Rye, Holden Caulfield

Catcher in the Rye Summary

In the novel The Catcher In The Rye by J.D Salinger, the main character Holden Caulfield is a troubled child and fears the change from childhood to adulthood. Throughout the novel, the main character Holden Caulfield takes us through a few days of his life, in which he flaunts his hostile attitude to us. Over […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1154 Topics: Catcher In The Rye, Holden Caulfield

Adolescents in the Catcher in the Rye

As most teenagers grow older, they fantasize about becoming an adult because they will no longer be under their parents’ rules and restrictions, and have 100% control over their own lives and the decisions that are made. Often, the new adults realize the extreme amount of responsibility, self control, and smart decision making, causing them […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1238 Topics: Adolescence, Catcher In The Rye, Childhood, Holden Caulfield

Mental Health of Teens and the Catcher in the Rye

What people never understand is that depression isn’t about the outside; it’s about the inside, a quote asserted by Jasmine Warga. Associating with the black cloud of depression by concealing one’s true feelings is the way many people were brought up by. Depression has a way of silently striking a person, similar to the way […]

Pages: 3 Words: 907 Topics: Adolescence, Catcher In The Rye, Clinical Psychology, Health, Holden Caulfield, Substance Abuse, Suicide

Love for Childhood Innocence in the Catcher in the Rye

Childhood is where every conscious child wants to be an adult and Adulthood is where every adult secretly wants to be a child again – Abhimanyu Singh. Holden’s lousy childhood experience emphasizes his love for childhood innocence throughout the book. In the novel, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden dislikes the idea of […]

Pages: 3 Words: 925 Topics: Catcher In The Rye, Childhood

Holden’s Role of being the Catcher in the Rye

There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life (Author Unknown). This author is trying to imply that although letting go of the people that one […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1330 Topics: Catcher In The Rye

The Catcher in the Rye Symbolism

What do the Ducks Mean in The Catcher in the Rye In The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger the author, weaved a variety of symbols into the novel. One symbol that contributed to the overall theme of the painfulness of growing up was the ducks in Central Park. From start to end, Holden wondered and […]

Pages: 2 Words: 736 Topics: Catcher In The Rye

About the Catcher in the Rye

Holden Caulfield is a teenager growing up in America in the 50’s. Even though he is just a teenager, he has already had to endure a lot of trials and tribulations: both physically and mentally. Upon being expelled, he runs away from his exclusive preparatory school in Pennsylvania, and spends a little time in New […]

Pages: 6 Words: 1791 Topics: Adolescence, Catcher In The Rye

Childhood and Adulthood in the Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye represents childhood as innocence and adulthood as being phony. Holden refuses to grow up but his age and school is forcing it upon him. Holden has a great protection of a child’s innocence. He was alienated from the society. And is disgusted by the phoniness of the adult world. He […]

Pages: 2 Words: 716 Topics: Catcher In The Rye

The Catcher in the Rye Monologue

If you really want to hear about it, you’ll probably want to know about my lousy childhood, and where I was born, or maybe what my parents do for a living if you’re feeling especially phony. But it’s not like I’m going to tell you my whole goddam autobiography, for Chrissake. I’ll just tell you […]

Pages: 3 Words: 998 Topics: Catcher In The Rye

Loneliness in “Catcher in the Rye”

But do we know what it’s loneliness? Or do we know what it is to be alone? We will always have different perspectives, ideas, comments on this subject. Psychology defines solitude as a lack, whether voluntary or involuntary, when the person decides to be alone or when this person is alone by different circumstances of […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1125 Topics: Adolescence, Catcher In The Rye, Homosexuality, Human Sexuality, Loneliness

Catcher in the Rye Depression

The Catcher in the Rye, was written in 1951. Salinger, the author of this novel, was born January first 1919, and was widely known because of this book itself. There was no movie made based off the Catcher in the Rye because Salinger refused to sell movie rights. Even though Salinger passed away, his family […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1332 Topics: Catcher In The Rye, Depression

The Catcher in the Rye: Censorship

To start off, the Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D. Salinger, is about a boy named Holden Caulfield, who begins the book at a school named Pencey Prep School, in Pennsylvania. At the books beginning, the school is several days away from Christmas break, where Holden will be returning home to Manhattan, where his […]

Pages: 6 Words: 1690 Topics: Catcher In The Rye, Censorship

Essay About The Catcher in The Rye

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger heavily probes the theme of sexuality – specifically, Holden Caulfield’s immense turbulence over it. Even the title The Catcher in the Rye originated from Holden’s misinterpretation a sexual poem, hearing ‘if a body meet a body’ as ‘if a body catch a body’ (Salinger 224). Caulfield is a manchild of sorts; he is a child not having selected adulthood yet. Adulthood is the choice of a career, a formed personality, and acting in ways that your younger self would not tolerate. One way Holden personifies the frustrations of clinging to youth is through sex, or the lack thereof. His virginity, his disparity over his sexuality, and his censorship of sex all encapsulate his immaturity and teenage angst.

Holden is not involuntarily celibate. It is implied that he wants to have sex, and has had multiple opportunities, but never quite came around to actually taking action. Being a massive hypocrite, Holden can’t even completely convince himself he actually wants to have sex – he has a natural inhibition to it and shows no demonstrable desire despite feeling and being hold he should want it. It’s yet another part of an adult world that he isn’t comfortable with, doesn’t really understand, and views as “crummy” and dirty. This is shown through memories of playing checkers with Jane, who Holden recalls ‘wouldn’t take her kings out of the back row’ (Salinger 101), in contrast to Stradlater’s apathy towards girls’ hobbies in favor of carnal pleasures. Then there was Sunny, a young prostitute he also couldn’t lay with because she wore a green dress. His inability to readily lose his virginity intertwines with the theme of innocence. Both Jane Gallagher, Holden’s childhood love, and the color green symbolize innocence. The loss of one’s virginity or sexual innocence directly correlates to the loss of childhood innocence. Following this logic, it is understandable why Holden is so upset at the idea of the very sexual Stradlater making advances towards Jane, who may have been sexually abused by her father in the past.

Another interpretation of the novel is that Holden is a repressed homosexual. Holden’s hangups about heterosexual sex would suddenly seem more reasonable from that perspective. The scene that stands out is when he’s in his hotel room and spying on the couple on the other side of the hotel. The two love birds spit water, or “highballs”, in each other’s faces and frolicked in public as Holden watched on with disgust. The shallowness of lust repulses Holden, and he feels ashamed of his own experience of it. There is also Holden’s frequent use of the word “flit”, a derogatory term ascribed to homosexuals.

More concerning than his observations and assumptions of “flitty-looking guys” is his seemingly baseless fear that he would “turn into a flit or something” (Salinger 186). This is further emphasized by his brief stay with Mr. Antolini when he wakes up in the middle of the night with the former English teacher stroking his head. Mr. Antolini is a complex character, especially because we see him through Holden’s unreliable eyes. Is Mr. Antolini, homosexual and physically attracted to Holden? Maybe. Is Mr. Antolini sexually pushing on Holden? Maybe. Is the sexual threat in Holden’s head? Maybe. Either way, Holden is so frightened he flees. The ambiguity of the scene places the responsibility on the reader to make out what the truth is. And though Holden claims to be no phony, he hides his true self from everyone else by hiding behind his red hunting hat and various personas. And so it is quite possible that he is hiding his own sexuality. Homosexuality, and most of his sexual thoughts therefore, repel him as he hasn’t found a way to deal with himself. He has no emotional help and is completely lost, which only makes it worse. Of course, there is no definitive answer. Holden’s sexuality is purposely left up to interpretation. There is always a chance he is bisexual or falls somewhere on the spectrum, whether that be more towards male or female attraction.

It is interesting to note that throughout the book, sex is explicitly censored. Not by the author, but by Holden himself. If anything, Salinger seems to make Holden see sexuality he can’t erase, for example a’Fuck you’ on the wall, which depresses him. Otherwise Holden always glosses over and is euphemistic about the sexual stuff he looks at, even though there’s clues that he’s obsessed about sex. He implies that sexual stuff happened to him a lot as he grew up. Given that he’s 16 and shows that he is pretty incompetent at being with a girl, he’s either lying or was sexually molested as a kid. He also talks about James Castle, who had bullies lock themselves in the room with him. He says to Phoebe, his sister, ‘I won’t even tell you what they did to him—it’s too repulsive’ (Salinger 221). Given how graphically he describes the body hitting the floor, there is little reason to think that Holden censors violence, but he does censor sex. This proves how deeply dishonest he is with himself and others, but in ways that humans often are, and so he is familiar.

The reason why the book is so powerful is that Holden truly learns by the end of it. He’s embarrassed, he’s grown a bit, and regrets talking so much. In this way, he acts as a mirror. Everyone has cringe-inducing memories from their teenage years. Possibly something that one thought of as superbly important at that time, but causes one to wince when recollected later in life. This is Holden’s moment. He left school, got in a fight with his peer over Jane Gallagher, hired a prostitute and failed to perform, was beaten and mugged by said prostitute and her pimp, embarrassed himself in front of girls, and then told someone about it. In him the readers see patterns that frustrate them, patterns that they also see in themselves. It forces the reassessment of personal narratives, prejudices, and desideria. It is for these reasons that The Catcher in the Rye became the classic it is today.

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