The significance of the title

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Downloaded 4 times

In J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, there are many themes that are perceptible, however the most dominant theme was embedded in the title of the book. This is why in this essay I will address the significance of the title of this book. At the very outset, I will like to state what the title signified. The title established Holden Caulfield, the protagonist's obligations in life, as stated by himself. Holden wished to serve humanity by safeguarding the innocence and purity of children, by protecting them from the evils of life and more directly the dangers of the 'adult' world. There were many instances in this novel when this meaning was supported. After having evaluated these instances the reader was readily able to notice how the title of this book described and/or influenced the protagonists' nature.

The author made a direct reference to the title in Chapter 22, when Holden returned to Phoebe, his younger sister's room just after having sneaked back home in order to seek salvation through her: "I figured I'd better sneak home and see her (Phoebe), in case I died and all."

When Phoebe found out that Holden had been expelled from yet another school she became upset and complained that Holden didn't like anything. She asked him what he would like to be and Holden answered, "I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where...