The Catcher in the Rye


The Catcher in the Rye can be strongly considered as one of the greatest novels of all time and Holden Caufield distinguishes himself as one of the greatest and most diverse characters.


Without reading between the lines, the Catcher in the Rye is a story about Holden Caulfield, and his departure from prep school and traveling to New York City. Holden Caufield the 16-year-old protagonist and the main character of The Catcher in the Rye is narrating the story and explains all the events throughout three influential days. One can see that his trip is a journey through Holden and is a discovery of how he views his own presents in this world. It travels with a thorough look into any individual’s understanding of his or her own human presence.


Holden Coulfield is a teenager growing up in the 1950\'s in New York. He has been expelled from school for poor achievment once again. In an attempt to deal with this, he leaves school a few days prior to the end of the term, and goes to New York, to take a "vacation" before returning to his parent\'s fury. It is pre-mentioned that the story is being told from an instituion where the teller has been hospitalized for a mental breakdown. His moral system and his sense of justice force him to detect horrifying flaws in the society in which he lives. However, this is not his principle difficulty. His principle difficulty is not that he is a rebel, or a coward, nor that he hates society, it is that he has had many experiences and he remembers everything. Salinger indicates this through Holden\'s confusion of time throughout the novel. Experiences at Whooten, Pency, and Elkton Hills combine and no levels of time separate them. This causes Holden to end the novel missing everyone and every experience. He remembers all the good and bad, until distinctions between the two disappear. Holden becomes a character portrayed by Salinger that disagrees with things changing. He wants to retain everything, in short he wants everything to always remain the same, and when changes occur; Holden reacts. However the most important aspect of Holden Caufield\'s character can be attributed to his judgment of people. It is described in the book, that Holden’s thoughtsand activities over these few days, during which he describes a developing nervous breakdown, made by his unexplaineddepression, his generally odd, erratic behavior, before his eventual nervous collapse.


Holden Caulfield is narrating the book in first person, he tells the reader of his adventures and encounters. He is an “anti-here”; he makes no major contributions to society or the world around him; he has never achieved any heroic medals or awards of any sort. He has given himself the task of “fighting” any of society’s phoniness; which is the one thing that ha can completely devote his life to.


Holden is unable to realize the magnitude of turning into an adult. He shows us that he wishes to be an adult, but yet, he cannot quite make the transition; for lack of integrity and honesty. He is unable to grow up. He has an impressive problem with spending money, just like a small child. Holden has a dreamy look on life, he dreams of retaining his childhood and remaining the way he used to be.


Holden sorely misses being able to turn to his parents in his time of trouble. He doesn\'t say this, but he reveals it obliquely in his movie fantasies of being shot by the mob. He first pulls the peak of his hunting cap over his eyes and shouts about being blind. Then Holden shouts, " Mother darling, give me your hand. Why won\'t you give me your hand?" This seems like clowning, but in fact it is a revelation of his terrible anguished isolation from his family.


According to Webster\'s dictionary, "Phoniness is described as artificial, counterfeit, or hypocritical.” These are all actions displayed by Holden at several times throughout the novel. Phony is one of the words heavily used by Holden. He uses the word phony several times throughout the course of this book and he uses it to describe the actions of others and not himself. Before Holden judges others, he should take