Catcher in the Rye Theme Essay

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11/25/12
The Catcher in the Rye Theme Essay
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is a novel about the life of a troubled teenage boy called Holden Caulfield. He believes that he’s surrounded by phonies. Therefore, Holden spends a few days in a New York hotel in the search of something real in his life. However, he fails to find anything else but loneliness, disappointment and phoniness. There are many themes to this novel, but in my opinion the three main themes are loss of innocence, dealing with death and lack of communication. These themes describe why Holden’s life is how it is.

The loss of innocence is caused by the environment one is surrounded by and growing up to be an adult. When Holden walked over to the museum of natural history, he remembered the time he went there during school. He examines the difference between innocence and youth. “The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish… Nobody'd be different. The only thing that would be different would be you. Not that you'd be so much older or anything. It wouldn't be that exactly. You'd just be different, that's all.” (Salinger 121) Holden makes the point that in a museum nothing would change, but as kids grow up they lose their innocence and join the adult world. Furthermore, Holden loves to spend time with his sister Phoebe because she understands him very well. However, spending a lot of time with Holden changes Phoebe’s attitude. This is seen when their mother comes home and she goes into Phoebe’s room because she saw the lights flicker on and off. “‘Phoebe, have you been smoking a cigarette in here? Tell me the truth, please, young lady.’ ‘What?’ old Phoebe said. ‘You heard me.’ ‘I just lit for one second. I just took one puff. Then I threw it out the window.’ … ‘Well. Go to sleep now. How was your dinner?’ ‘Lousy,’...
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