"Catcher in the Rye": Holden Caulfield's dream job to be the Catcher in the Rye.

Essay by tom00207High School, 10th grade December 2005

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Holden's desire to be the 'Catcher in the Rye' comes from his realization, near the end of his horrible, nearly sleepless weekend of cigarettes, alcohol, phonies, and freaks, that he isn't ready and doesn't even want to be an adult. He also knows he is different from his sister, Phoebe, that he is no longer a child. He has seen too much reality to still be a child, even though he is only 16 in the story. He doesn't have a home like a child would. He feels like he is someone in between adulthood and childhood. The catcher in the rye, is sort of like Peter Pan, helping children and keeping them safe from falling off the cliff of innocence into adulthood. Holden loves the simple, straightforward and honest world of children, and he hates the adult world of phonies and perverts.

Holden wants to be the catcher because he knows he would be a very good catcher.

He really wants to see inner goodness in almost everyone, even if they are rich kids in his boarding school, or outwardly unattractive. For example, early in the book, he talks about the headmaster's daughter. He says she is not attractive outwardly, "She had a big nose and her nails were all bitten down and bleedy-looking", and so he felt sorry for her, but he also says, "She was a pretty nice girl, though" (page 3). Holden can look past the appearances and see someone's inner self. Also later on in the early part of the book, Holden talks about Old Spencer, his history teacher. Even though Mr. Spencer was very old, sickly, smelled of nose drops and had un-hairy legs, Holden admitted that "if you thought about him just enough and not too much, you could figure out...