The Catcher in the Rye - Journal

Essay by noneuHigh School, 11th gradeA+, November 2004

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The Catcher in the Rye shows many displays of themes in which J.D. Salinger stays true to, from start to finish. On page 5, Holden is on his way to Spencer's house and he says "terrifically felt like you were disappearing every time you crossed a road." Similar words appear later in the book on pages 197 and 198 when Holden says, "I had this feeling that I'd never get to the other side of the street...Allie don't let me disappear." Holden's words here open a door to a great portion of the motifs expressed throughout the novel. Holden mentioning that he is cold along with him disappearing once he crosses demonstrates loneliness. His cry for help or comfort from Allie proves his inability to trust or connect with the people surrounding him, let alone people that are alive. Holden's feelings of never reaching the other side or disappearing while crossing the road, the street being symbolic of not just a physical, tar road but of a passageway in life, illustrates his fears of progressing.

In the novel, numerous times Holden refers his knowledge of something/someone to a book. For example on page 76 Holden claims he knows Jane (Gallagher) like a book. Normally, one would compare having such knowledge to the back of her hand, or some bodily feature. Reading is a solo activity that occurs in the mind, not involving anyone else or revealing anything to others; includes alienation, thus Holden being fond of it.

During the entire book, Holden constantly does things; he never lounges alone without movement. He always makes conversation with strangers, or smokes, etc. For instance, on page 88 Holden talks about elevators and then says, "All of a sudden you have to walk." Holden's need to walk is the same as Holden's...