JD Salinger's: "The Catcher in the Rye"

Essay by stasia_teeHigh School, 10th gradeA+, March 2006

download word file, 5 pages 3.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 43 times

-Think about Holden's vision of the nature of childhood and adulthood. Are the two realms as separate as Holden believes them to be? Where does he fit in?

"The Catcher in the Rye", a novel by JD Salinger, is a bildungsroman, which means that it shows the stages of a young character growing up, and becoming mature. However, this novel is actually about trying to escape this infamous compulsory stage of life, in order to remain in the period of pure innocence- childhood. This stage either has arrived, or will arrive in every human's life, and many agree that it is the most difficult emotional stage they have yet to be encountered with. JD Salinger expresses this harsh transitional period using a character called Holden Caulfield, who is17 years of age, as the narrator.

Holden Caulfield is reviewing a part of this transitional stage of childhood to adulthood, by describing in great detail, the journey which he takes that leads to his emotional breakdown.

When looking back at the days before his emotional breakdown at a psychiatric institute, he describes the as his "madman days". Throughout his madman days, he truly believed that almost everybody he encountered was phony. This is what drove his unstable emotional state into believing that he could defy time: not become a phony adult, but instead, remain innocent- as every child in his eyes was. Another impossible ambition he desired was to also save other children from entering the phony adult world, which he describes metaphorically, with wanting to be "the catcher in the rye".

At the beginning of the novel, in Holden's eyes, children were the very epitome of innocence. This was most likely to have been because his younger brother, Allie, had died only a few years before. Holden believed...