English III, Per: 4
November 5th, 2010
Catcher in the Rye Final Essay
The story “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger shows the epic journey of a boy growing up and learning about adulthood. Holden Caulfield, the arrogant and biased protagonist of the story in a period of four days begins to learn about the adult world, thus loses his innocence. Holden Caulfield holds a bitter, defiant, and negative tone and attitude towards his classmates and friend’s from the past. The troubled youngster enters into a myriad of situation in which he has a myriad of issues resolving. In the story, Salinger uses the magnificent symbolism of the bar, his choices on his education, and the museum to amplify the outstanding theme fear of growth because of not wanting to face the consequences.
The first indication of Holden’s self-inflicted downfall is his lack of motivation has caused a plethora of helpless and horrible situations. Holden has switched a countless number of times from school to school. The confused Pencey student left his previous school for Pencey, because of the teachers and students. Instead of acknowledging he needs help education wise, he exclaims that all of his classmates are phonies. “I can just see that big phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few stiffs.” This quote is crucial to the story because it shows Holden’s dark side, especially his bitter tone towards his class mates. Fortunately, Holden has a teacher who understands him. Mrs. Spencer tries to make him realize that he has used the same exact excuse to justify his poor grades and to leave his other school. Holden’s outrageous and irresponsibility led him into situations where he experiences intense emotion and physical pain.
The second indication of Holden’s self-inflicted downfall is his annoying habit of trying to behave like an adult. Holden hasn’t spent his time thinking about correcting...