Catcher in the Rye

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“The Catcher In the Rye”
J.D. Salinger

In life there comes a time when everyone thinks that they are surrounded by phoniness. This often happens during the teen years when the person is trying to find a sense of direction. Holden Caulfield, a 16-year-old teenager was trying to find his sense of direction in J.D. Salinger's, The Catcher In The Rye. Holden had been expelled from Pency Prep for failing four out of his five classes. He decided to start his Christmas break early and head out to New York. While in New York, Holden faces new experiences, tough times and a world of "phony." Holden was surrounded by phonies because that is the word he uses to identify everything in the world that he rejects.

Holden Caulfield, the narrator and main character of The Catcher in the Rye, seems to be torn between two realms of reality, a dream world of a childhood for which he longed and a world of being forced into mature adulthood. The first sentence in the novel clearly shows his resentment of the childhood he had concerning the childhood he’d wanted. The first sentence also states his bitterness toward the adult society. Holden says, “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth” (Salinger 1). This opening statement sets the mood for the entire book, and the connection is easily seen between these two worlds by his helplessness to step back into a childhood he wants and his rebellion to step forward into the adult world. Holden seems to be trapped in this area that resembles suffering which many teenagers experience.

One way to look at this is through Holden’s vision of a perfect life; one in which he stands on the edge of a cliff acting as a catcher who protects innocent children, who are playing...
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