Catcher in the Rye Thematic

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In The Catcher and the Rye, written by J. D Slinger, we are introduced to Holder Coalfield , the 17 year old narrator and protagonist of the novel. In the beginning of the story Holder is at a resting home in California. Holder tells the readers what happened to him over a two day period in the previous December. In this essay I will identify a theme from this story and explain how it is developed in the novel. In my opinion an important theme of the Catcher in the Rye is the painfulness of growing up.

Many people interpreted this novel to be a coming f age novel, due to the fact that it talks about issues teenagers go through. Readers can relate to Holder Coalfield because of his disdain to the process of maturity. For example, in chapter 1 6, Holder ‘s thoughts about the Museum of Natural History establishes Holder’s fear on change and how overwhelmed he is Of complexity. Holder wants everything to be easy to understand and a fixed, An example of this is the statues of Eskimos and Native Americans in the museum.

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Holder doesn’t really understand what going on around him. He acknowledges this fear with his confusion on sex, “sex is something just don’t understand. I swear to God I don’t”. Holder invents a fantasy that being an adult is a world of superficiality and phoniness. Holder also feels that childhood is a world of innocence, curiosity, and honesty. In my opinion, Holder’s view on childhood and adulthood are immature and foolish. Holder conceptions are very shallow and are proven shallow by his former teacher Mr.. Mandolin and his little sister Phoebe.

Holder has a dream about being a catcher in the rye. He envisions childhood as a peaceful field of rye in which children play and rum. Adulthood, in Holder’s fantasy, is equivalent to death, or a fatal fall or the edge. Holder’s beliefs on childhood allow Holder to alienate himself from the real world, by using him cynical attitude and sarcasm as a protective armor. A symbol of Holder’s disregard to growing up, is his curiosity to where the ducks in Central Park go for the winter. The reader is revealed to a more youthful side of Holder.

This is surprising because Holder, for a majority of he book acts like a grumpy old man who is angry at the world. In my opinion Holder’s pondering on where the ducks go for the winter, signifies where he want to go in life. Holder, in my opinion, in confused about his future and what he wants to with his life. This is an important moment, because Holder clearly lacks the willingness to apply himself and make decisions in aspects of his life. The ducks in the pond are very symbolic in many ways. The ducks prove that the things some Of us hold dear to us, can vanish.

Holder knows sows this feels due to the death of his younger brother Allies whose death was very hard on Holder. Holder is traumatized and is made aware of the delicacy of life, and is horrified by the idea of change and disappearance. Though, unlike Allele, the ducks vanish, but come back every year. This symbolizes change that isn’t permanent but seasonal. In conclusion, Holder Cullied is a very relaTABLE character. What Holder goes through, may people have faced in their adolescent stage. Many teenagers have felt isolated, alienated, depressed, angry, confused, and essential.

In other words they were struggling. The difference between most people and Holder is the fact that they made an effort to leave this stage in the past and apply themselves, while Holder jokes over the fact that he should apply himself. In the end, Holder, is in an existential crisis. To a great extent, Holder is numb to the pains and joys of life. He is unTABLE to come to terms of Allies death. Holder never had anyone other than Phoebe to express a brotherly love, so whenever someone does end up showing Holder affection he rejects it.

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Catcher in the Rye Thematic. (2018, Feb 05). Retrieved from

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