Accepting the World in "Catcher in the Rye".

Essay by lysieboo4uUniversity, Master'sA+, October 2003

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Accepting the World in Catcher in the Rye

In Salinger's Catcher in the

Rye, the reader is taken through a

journey of a boy who has yet to become

a man. It also suggest that distorted

adolescents can progress toward

maturity as they reject the stability

of isolation and accept themselves and

the world despite obvious


In Catcher in the Rye the 17-

19 year old narrator, Holden,

illustrates that his mental state is

distorted with depression, fear of

change, and has death issues. From

the beginning of the book it is

evident he has depression issues. The

first occurrence of depression begins

on page seven, when he goes to visit

his old professor Mr. Spencer who is

sick. This also illustrates Holden's

issues with death and sickness: "It

was pretty depressing. I'm not to

crazy about sick people, anyway."

Holden reveals his issues with change

repeatedly throughout the book.


page 121 Holden elaborates on the

unchanging of the Natural History

Museum, which reveals the museum as a

symbol of an unchanged environment.

Holden says that the best thing about

the museum was that everything always

stayed right where it was, not the

cool Eskimo sitting around a whole in

the ice fishing, or the Indians

rubbing sticks together to make fire.

He does not seem to be interested in

what the museum preserves, but that it

keeps everything the same each time he

comes. "The only thing that would be

different would be you." In this same

paragraph on page 121 Holden ties

death and change together. He further

explains what would be different each

time he would go. He reveals that

your age wouldn't differ, but,

maybe "the kid that was your partner

in line the last time had got scarlet

fever and you'd...