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The Catcher in the Rye Major Themes

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    The themes in the novel Catcher in the Rye relate to the many evolving realizations that Holder makes throughout the book. We get a glimpse of the themes starting to develop when Holder tells us about his past. We see that Holder in a way think he is a very mature young man that does not really need help from anyone and can take care of himself. I think Holder feels this way because all his life he has been somewhat of a loner and this caused him to think he can find his path on his own.

    Along the way of Holder’s Journey he discovers the pain of growing up and having to be truly mature on your own. When we meet Holder in the beginning of the book he is a high school student, he is flunking out of school, making irresponsible decisions left and right. Throughout the novel Holder seems to be excluded from the world around him. As he says to Mr.. Spencer his professor, he feels trapped on “the other side” of life, and he continually attempts to find his way in a world in which he feels e doesn’t belong.

    After Holder’s expulsion instead of facing the problem head on and confronting his parent’s about what has happened we see him make the rash decision to Jump on a train in the middle of the night and head to New York. It’s there in New York that he truly encounters the pain of growing up, but instead of acknowledging that growing up scares and baffles him, Holder invents a fantasy that adulthood is a Just a bunch of shallowness and falseness that he calls “phoniness. “

    Where before growing up life was Just a world of goodness, curiosity, and honesty. A good example of this is Holders understanding of the catcher in the rye where he pictures childhood as a field of rye in which children play. He pictures adulthood as death of the children of his childhood world. Because of the beliefs that Holder has of childhood and adulthood it allows Holder to cut himself off from the world. He surrounds himself with the notion that everything in the Adult world is Phony; He constantly doubts the authenticity of it.

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