The Catcher In The Rye: Holden Essay, Research Paper
The Catcher In The Rye: Holden
This book has been steeped in contention since it was banned in America after
it & # 8217 ; s first publication. John Lennon & # 8217 ; s bravo, Mark Chapman, asked the former
beatle to subscribe a transcript of the book earlier in the forenoon of the twenty-four hours that he
murdered Lennon. Police found the book in his ownership upon groking the
psychologically disturbed Chapman. However, the book itself contains nil
that could be attributed with taking Chapman to move as he did & # 8211 ; it could hold
been any book that he was reading the twenty-four hours he decided to kill John Lennon & # 8211 ; and
as a consequence of the fact that it was & # 8216 ; The Catcher In The Rye & # 8217 ; , a book describing
nervous dislocation, media speculated widely about the possible connexion. This
gave the book even more ill fame. So what is & # 8216 ; The Catcher In The Rye & # 8217 ; really
Superficially the narrative of a immature adult male & # 8217 ; s ejection from yet another school, & # 8216 ; The
Catcher In The Rye & # 8217 ; is in fact a perceptive survey of one person & # 8217 ; s
apprehension of his human status.
Holden Caulfield, a adolescent turning up in
1950s New York, has been expelled school for hapless accomplishment one time once more. In an
effort to cover with this he leaves school a few yearss prior to the terminal of term,
and goes to New York to & # 8216 ; take a holiday & # 8217 ; before returning to his parents & # 8217 ;
Told as a soliloquy, the book describes Holden & # 8217 ; s ideas and activities over
these few yearss, during which he describes a developing nervous dislocation,
symptomised by his turns of unexplained depression, unprompted disbursement and
by and large uneven, fickle behavior, prior to his eventual nervous prostration.
However, during his psychological conflict, life continues on about Holden as it
ever had, with the bulk of people disregarding the & # 8216 ; madman stuff & # 8217 ; that is
go oning to him & # 8211 ; until it begins to infringe on their well defined societal
codifications. Increasingly through the novel we are challenged to believe about
society & # 8217 ; s attitude to the human status & # 8211 ; does society hold an & # 8216 ; ostrich in the
sand & # 8217 ; outlook, a calculated ignorance of the emptiness that can qualify
human being? And if so, when Caulfield begins to examine and look into his
ain sense of emptiness and isolation, before eventually declaring that the universe is
full of & # 8216 ; hypocrites & # 8217 ; with each one put out for their ain hypocrite addition, is Holden
really the 1 who is traveling insane, or is it society which has lost it & # 8217 ; s mind
for neglecting to see the hopelessness of their ain lives?
Holden & # 8217 ; s Personality –
There are 3 chief facets in Holden & # 8217 ; s personality:
1. His unfavorable judgment toward the & # 8216 ; phony & # 8217 ; things in society.
2. His perceptual experience that Torahs ( Rules ) are & # 8216 ; kid & # 8217 ; s play & # 8217 ; for the strong
and a hard
battle for the weak.
3. Respect for fellowman.
The unfavorable judgment toward & # 8216 ; phony & # 8217 ; things in society is expressed in the novel
chiefly by the word & # 8216 ; phony & # 8217 ; . Holden is a representative of the universe of
childhood whose features are the opposite values to those Holden calls
& # 8216 ; phony & # 8217 ; .
One of the things Holden frequently calls & # 8216 ; phony & # 8217 ; is the universe of films and
everything about it. Examples of it are his choler toward his brother D.B.
because he moved to Hollywood, antipathy of Sunny the cocotte who tells him
she spends most of her clip in movie theatres and derision to the three adult females he
met at the saloon who are merely interested in films and celebrated histrions.
Another thing Holden calls & # 8216 ; phony & # 8217 ; is the theatre. He finds the theatre & # 8216 ; phony & # 8217 ;
because he thinks that alternatively of showing world as it is, the accent
is put on smoothing staginess. He says he has ne’er seen so much & # 8216 ; phony & # 8217 ;
things like he saw in the theatre. Out of these illustrations and others we see that
for Holden it is really of import to be & # 8216 ; existent & # 8217 ; , honest and non & # 8216 ; phony & # 8217 ; , therefore the
unfavorable judgment toward the & # 8216 ; phony & # 8217 ; things in society is the most important facet of
Another of import facet in Holden & # 8217 ; s personality is that regulations to him were meant
to function the strong, whereas he belongs to the weak, therefore he ignores them
wholly. His attitude toward regulations can be demonstrated by these illustrations:
Ring Lardner & # 8217 ; s Tells Holden a narrative in which a married police officer fell in love
with a miss who drove
faster than the velocity bound and finally was killed
because of it. In this narrative Torahs ( Rules ) are mentioned twice:
1. The police officer fell in love with a miss while he was married and
this means interrupting societal Torahs.
2. The girl drove excessively fast and this means interrupting traffic Torahs.
The result of this narrative is failure and decease. From here we can larn of
Holden & # 8217 ; s personality because he likes this narrative really much and he thinks that
these felonies don & # 8217 ; t necessitate penalty.
Another illustration is Holden & # 8217 ; s talk with Mr. Spencer who tells him: & # 8220 ; Life is a
game male child. Life is a game that one plays harmonizing to the regulations & # 8230 ; If you get on
the side where all the hot-shots are, so it & # 8217 ; s a game & # 8230 ; But if you get on the
other side, where there aren & # 8217 ; t any hot-shots, so what & # 8217 ; s a game about it? & # 8221 ; .
Holden agrees with Mr. Spencer.
Actually, Holden has an ambivalent position of regulations which is expressed in Holden & # 8217 ; s
words: & # 8220 ; I & # 8217 ; m ever puting myself regulations about sex and I instantly interrupt them & # 8221 ; .
Holden refers regulations to the universe of the strong but he himself can non avoid
scene regulations for himself, yet he ne’er keeps them. So this is another
contradiction in Holden & # 8217 ; s personality.
Another facet of Holden & # 8217 ; s personality is the fact that Holden can & # 8217 ; t base
people who don & # 8217 ; t esteem fellowmen and wear & # 8217 ; t listen to what they say. Holden
thinks that it is really of import to listen to people and esteem their privateness.
Examples of this can be found in many parts of the narrative such as:
1. Holden & # 8217 ; s willingness to halt in the center of the sexual act
because of a miss & # 8217 ; s bespeak when others wouldn & # 8217 ; T.
2. Holden & # 8217 ; s esteem to the nuns.
3. Holden & # 8217 ; s esteem to Jane: the willingness non to snog her and
soothing her when she cried.
In visible radiation of these illustrations and others we can reason that fellowman is really
of import to Holden. However, when people criticize him, he doesn & # 8217 ; t esteem them
at all. This can clearly be seen in Holden & # 8217 ; s attitude toward Pheobe and Antolini.
Holden & # 8217 ; s attitude toward:
1.Holden & # 8217 ; s attitude toward instructors is ambivalent: on the one manus he is
instinctively against them because they are representatives of the Torahs he
interruptions. On the other manus he respects instructors like Antolini and Spencer.
2.Holdne & # 8217 ; s friends are presented as negative and selfish characters such as
Stradlater and Ackley. Although Stradlater and Ackley are socially opposite,
( Stradlater on the top and Ackley in the underside ) they are both unfit for Holden
and under the camouflage of the fine-looking successful jock or the ugly rejected
sloth, they are the same & # 8211 ; selfish, ache other people and obey Torahs.
3. Holden has an exceeding attitude toward his parents. On the one manus he
wants to delight them and on the other manus he doesn & # 8217 ; t do anything to carry through
that so he disappoints them.
To his brother D.B, Holden has some regard accompanied with letdown of
him going commercialized all his life as a author in Hollywood, of his
girlfriend and of his auto.
To his sister Pheobe, nevertheless, Holden has a particular sentiment because she
represents childhood, pureness, artlessness and apprehension to Holden. Despite all
this, Pheobe likes films, participates in school dramas and criticizes Holden.
Allegedly, Holden should hold hated her but he chooses to disregard these
& # 8216 ; disadvantages & # 8217 ; .
4.Holden & # 8217 ; s attitude toward life consequences from his attitude toward himself. His
low self-esteem causes him to seek to run off from life and from world. When
life is presented to him as a game with regulations, he breaks the regulations and foliages
In Conclusion –
We see Holden as a changeless character. As a individual who refuses to accept world
and attempts every bit much as he can to hold on childhood. He wants to go frequenter of the
kids in order to protect their pureness and artlessness.
And as a concluding comment I would wish to state that when we are honorable we can see
within ourselves suppressed elements of the forces runing within Holden
Caulfield, and because of that I would urge this idea arousing novel as
a fascinating and edifying description of our human status. However,
beware & # 8230 ; for that really ground it is non comfy reading.
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