Catcher in The Rye: Holden Caulfield's Perception and Gradual Acceptance of the "Real" World.
In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden views the world as an evil and corrupt place where there is no peace. This perception of the world does not change significannot
ly through the novel. However as the novel progresses, Holden gradually comes to the realization that he is powerless to change this.
During the short period of Holden's life covered in this book, "Holden does succeed in making us perceive that the world is crazy".1 Shortly after Holden leaves Pencey Prep he checks in to the Edmont Hotel. This is where Holden's turmoil begins. Holden spends the following evening in this hotel which was "full of perverts and morons. (There were) screwballs all over the place."2 His situation only deteriorates from this point on as the more he looks around this world, the more depressing life seems.
Around every corner Holden sees evil. He looks out on a world which appears completely immoral and unscrupulous. The three days we learn of from the novel place a distressed Holden in the vicinity of Manhattan. The city is decked with decorations and holiday splendor, yet, much to Holden's despair "seldom yields any occasions of peace, charity or even genuine merriment."3 Holden is surrounded by what he views as drunks, perverts, morons and screwballs. These convictions which Holden holds waver very momentarily during only one particular scene in the book. The scene is that with Mr. Antolini. After Mr. Antolini patted Holden on the head while he was sleeping, Holden jumped up and ran out thinking that Mr. Antolini was a pervert as well. This is the only time during the novel where Holden thinks twice about considering someone as a pervert. After reviewing Mr. Antolini, Holden finally concludes that maybe he wasn't making a "flitty" pass at him. Maybe he just like patting guys heads as they sleep. This is really the only time in the novel where Holden actually considers a...
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