The Loneliness of Holden Caulfield Essay
The Loneliness of Holden Caulfield in the Catcher in the Rye Abstract: Though controversial, the novel the Catcher in The Rye appealed to a great number of people. It was a hugely popular bestseller and general critical success. The Catcher in the Rye was frequently read as a tale of an individual’s alienation within a heartless world. Holden seemed to stand for young people everywhere, who felt themselves be set on all sides by pressures to grow up and live their lives according to the rules, to disengage from meaningful human connection.
In his age, young people can easily feel lonely. This feeling is universal to young people. Key words: loneliness, Holden, Biography of the Author Born in New York City on the first day of 1919, J. D. Salinger is the son of a Jewish father and a Christian mother. After brief periods of enrollment at both NYU and Columbia University, Salinger devoted himself entirely to writing, and by 1940 he had published several short stories in periodicals.
Although his career as a writer was interrupted by World War II, Salinger returned from service in 1946 and resumed his career, writing primarily for The New Yorker, as well as many other well-known publications. Salinger has continually enjoyed major critical and popular acclaim with The Catcher in the Rye, the story of Holden Caulfield, a rebellious boarding-school student who attempts to run away from the adult world that he finds “phony. ” In many ways reminiscent of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Salinger’s only novel finds great sympathy for its wayward child protagonist.
It drew from characters he had created in two short stories published in 1945 and 1946, “This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise” and “I’m Crazy. ” The latter story is an alternate take on several of the chapters in The Catcher in the Rye (1935). Since 1953, Salinger has resided in Cornish, New Hampshire, and claims that he continues to write. Although details about Salinger are notoriously vague because of his reclusiveness, he has become the subject of much speculation. Personal information about Salinger is therefore limited but in great demand.
In the memoir of Maynard, an eighteen-year-old female student at Yale who later left college to live with Salinger for nine months, information revealed that Salinger’s demand for privacy stemmed from his awareness that his private activities, including several relationships with young women like Maynard, would ultimately ruin his reputation. Two collections of his work, Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, all of which had appeared previously in The New Yorker, were published in book form in the early 1960s.
Salinger died at his home on January 27, 2010 Introduction The Catcher in The Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger. Originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage confusion, angst, alienation,[and rebellion. It has been translated into almost all of the world’s major languages. Around 250,000 copies are sold each year, with total sales of more than 65 million books. The novel’s protagonist and antihero, Holden Caulfield, has become an icon for teenage rebellion. Summary of Plot
The story takes the form of first person narrative by Holden Caulfield, a 16-year-old student who had been kicked out of three private schools, or four if counting in Pencey prep, after the expulsion from where Holden began his story. Holden had been the manager of the school fencing team until he lost all their foils on the subway. At the end of the semester, Holden failed four out of his five subjects, thus being driven out of the forth school he had attended. Because he was not supposed to leave until Wednesday, he paid a visit to his history teacher Mr.
Spencer, who told him that “life is a game” and one should “play it according to the rules,” Holden dismissed much of what Spencer said. Back to his dorm, Holden wrote a composition for his roommate Stradlater, but when Stradlater indicated that he might have had sex with Jane Gallagher–a girl Holden secretly loved, Holden became irritated and had a fight with Stradlater. He left for New York right after that. In New York, Holden stayed in a hotel, where he encountered with a prostitute. Holden refused to do anything with her, but he was still shook down by her pimp.
The next day, Holden broke up with his girlfriend Sally, and took risk going back home to see his beloved sister Phoebe. He managed to creep out of the house after his parents came back and planned to move out west. Before he left, Holden wanted to see his sister once more and wrote a note to her. To his surprise, Phoebe had packed her baggage and got ready to go with him. Failing to persuade Phoebe not to go with him, Holden had to forgo his ambitious plan and took his sister to the zoo. Holden never does give a thorough assessment of his prognosis since his hospitalization.
But in the voice in the end of the novel, his time recovering has left him calmer and with more perspective, but still lonely and without direction. The analysis of Holden’s loneliness Holden is very lonely, and his adolescent loneliness seems to run much deeper than the feelings so commonly felt at that age. He admits to his loneliness openly, and it gives him evidence that perhaps he might still have some emotions left. At the same time, Holden takes few steps to mitigate his loneliness. A. The relationship with his own family Holden is profoundly alone. He interacts with many people throughout J.
D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye, but probably none have as much impact on him as certain members of his immediate family. From the very first page of the novel, Holden begins to refer to his parents as distant and generalizes both his father and mother frequently throughout his chronicle. One example is: “…my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything personal about them. They’re quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father. They’re nice and all – I’m not saying that – but they’re also touchy as hell” (Salinger 1).
Holden’s father is a lawyer and therefore he considers him “phony” because he views his father’s occupation unswervingly as a parallel of his father’s personality. Without love the family has no chance of being healthy in their relationships. In Holden’s case he isn’t very close with his mom or dad so he is afraid to go home. Holden’s D. B. older brother is a screenwriter in Hollywood. He used to write great stories – so great, in fact, that Holden credits him (twice) with being his favorite writer. But D. B. is the height of phoniness in Holden’s mind because he’s sacrificed his art (writing stories) for money (writing screenplays).
He likes his little brother very much, but he died early. After the death of Allie, Holden essentially shuts down, forcing himself to lose all attachments to people so as never to be hurt again. He repeatedly mentions how important it is not to get attached to anyone, since this will lead to missing them once they are gone. The only comfort for Holden is his lovely little sister who is innocent and natural and true. In conclusion, their family bond isn’t very strong. And this kind of family relationship is one reason of his loneliness. B. the problems of love and sex
When come to love and and sex, Holden has a deep, sensitive soul, at bottom unable to sublimate his feelings into numbness. He envies someone like Stradlater, who can simply pick up girls whenever he likes, and who treats sex as a casual pleasure. To Holden, however, sex is deeply discomforting. He cannot have it with girls he likes, and he cannot manage to numb himself enough to treat girls casually. When he finally does fall in love with Jane Gallagher, he soon discovers that Stradlater has a date with her, which confirms his suspicion that everything he loves eventually deteriorates.
Whenever he feels the urge to meet someone, to call up a girl. For example, he might want to call Jane, but he hangs up before she gets on the phone. He might want to sleep with a prostitute to feel human comfort, but this will not do. All Holden wants to do is talk, but he cannot find someone who will listen. Pushing them away provides a deeper and deeper loneliness, but at these moments of choice he is willing to endure it rather than eventually face the ultimate. Holden cannot find any girl to whom he can build a love relationship.
This also makes him feel lonely. C. Lack of being guided by the authority At Pencey, Holden finds no adult to trust with his feelings; most people everywhere are phonies. Some adults even seem so selfish that they are willing to abuse children. Overall, Holden views adults with intense disappointment, even cynicism. While Holden was attending Pencey Prep, he formed a relationship with his history teacher, Old Mr. Spencer. While Holden was getting ready to go into Mr. Spencer’s room, Holden felt a little uncomfortable with the situation when he actually saw Mr.
Spencer, started talking to him, and felt a lecture coming on. Holden often embarrassed. The visit to Mr. Spencer’s home is not pleasant. Mr. Antolini is the adult who comes closest to reaching Holden. He manages to avoid alienating Holden, and being labeled a “phony”. However, when Mr. Antolini touches Holden’s forehead as he sleeps, he may overstep a boundary in his display of concern and affection. And there is little evidence to suggest that he is making a sexual overture, as Holden thinks. The teacher he loves also disappointed him. So Holden quickly left Mr.
Antolini’s home and felt very nervous. When he wandered at the street, the loneliness is so strong that makes him shiver for a long time. He cannot get guidance from his teachers, not to mention others in his school, who are regarded as the phonies. This really a very sad thing for Holden and he is lonely in this term. D. lack of friendship At Pency, Holden knew several school friends, but none of whom can build frienship with. For example, Ward Stradlater, Holden’s roommate at Pencey Prep, is a vain, self-centered, and arrogant– nevertheless a “secret slob”.
He asks Holden to write an English essay for him, but he gets angry after finding the essay too off-topic. Holden gets into a fight with Stradlater after he suspects that Stradlater seduced Jane Gallagher, with whom Holden is in love. Robert Ackley is a boorish, obnoxious student at Pencey, Ackley lives in a dorm room connected to the one where Holden lives. He is socially inept and physically disgusting; his complexion is poor and Holden suspects that he never brushes his teeth. Like these kind of schoolmates, it is really hard to get along with them, never the less to develop friendship with them.
When wandering in New York, he spends an evening dancing with three tourist women in their thirties from Seattle in the hotel lounge, and enjoys dancing with one, but ends up with only the check. He finds it slightly frustrating because the women seem unable to carry a conversation. The same situation is Holden’s short companion with a prostitute Sunny. The inner loneliness really makes Holden feel depresses and restless. Conclusion In J. D. Salinger’s the Catcher in The Rye, the loneliness of teenager Holden Caulfield is obvious, especially at the latter part of the novel.
His longing to communicate with others can hardly be satisfied. There are four reasons for the loneliness: His relationship with his family, especially his parents; the problems of love and sex; lack of being guided by the authority and the lack of friendship. Perhaps there is another important reason that is his view to the people around him. Bibliography ?? ,???.????????.?? :??????? J. D. Salinger. The Catcher in the Rye. ??? ?. ? ?:????? http://www. kirjasto. sci http://www. wikipedia. org http://www. gradesaver. com http://www. sparknotes. com http://m. voices. yahoo. com http://www. shmoop. com http://www. echeat. com