The Circle Game- The Catcher in the Rye

Essay by dashawnjyuUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2013

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Circle Game-- from Childhood to Adulthood

"And the seasons they go 'round and 'round, and the painted ponies go up and down. We're captive on the carousel of time. We can't return, we can only look behind from where we came, and go round and round and round in the circle game." These are the lyrics of "Circle Game" which is sung by Joni Mitchell. From the word carousel in the lyric, we can relate it to the carousel in The Catcher in the Rye. In this world, we are all captives of time. J.D. Salinger created a character that is in a transition between childhood and adulthood. In this transition, Holden is confused and lost. He protects himself by viewing the world in a cynical way. He criticizes almost everybody as a phony. However, as read through the book, I doubted whether this is true or not. I want to divide the book into two parts.

The first is about phony phenomenon in society and the second is about the alienation of adolescence.

We all know that Holden is an outsider through the competition in the society. The cynical thinking of Holden may destroy himself in his future. Salinger didn't give us the answer as to what would happen to Holden in the future. However, we can predict that it won't be a happy ending. Why? Because Holden hates Hollywood stuff and it won't be a Hollywood-styled ending.

In the book, Holden wants to be someone who can save the next generation. He wants to catch every child who gets near to the cliff in the rye. The rye and the cliff both symbolize different things. The rye means the innocence and childhood that Holden wants to protect while the cliff implies phony and adulthood. In the three days...