The Interpretation of the Catcher in Rye, including a characterisation of Holden, and many symbolic aspects of the book.

Essay by BrainBug February 2005

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

Adolescence is the most awkward time in one's life. Teens are on the brink of adulthood, but not yet fully emotionally developed. They experiment with dangerous substances such as drinking, smoking and sex in order to test their boundaries as individuals in society. Most of one's early life is spent being protected from the "real world" but inevitably the "real world" works its way into one's consciousness. Everyone experiences a day when they wake up and the Easter Bunny does not exist, Santa Clause is not real and grandma did not just move away. Teens question everything because they feel like they have been lied to all their lives. In many respects Holden Caulfield embodies the internal conflicts of every teenager. Three specific examples that I personally identify with are: Holden's struggle to find himself, his need for

comfort and love, and his attitude toward the "real world."

Growing up is a major theme in J.D

Salinger's "The Catcher in The Rye". Holden, like most teens, wants the privileges of adulthood but not the responsibility. Many teens think that because they swear, drink or have sex that they are mature. Holden thinks exactely in this scheme. "I kept sitting there getting drunk" (p. 149). Having a few drinks is a typical, so teens think, adult behavior. On the other hand when Holden "all of the sudden, started to cry" and he "couldn't help it" (p. 179) was not so typical for an adult behavior. But Holden, although he wants to hide it, a very emotional person. At the beginnen when he describes Jane, he is describing her very sensetive "Ask her if she still keeps all her kings in the back row" (p. 34). He likes the detail, he tries not to be like the others. He tries to be...