Catcher in the Rye Thesis Essay

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Catcher in the Rye Thesis Essay

The novel "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger is very interesting novel in which the main character, Holden, intrigues the reader with his unpredictable actions and upfront judgments of his surroundings. Holden alienates himself to try and help protect him from the outside world and conserve his innocence. He constantly proves this to reader many in times in the novel by, telling characters he feels different, wearing clothing that makes him stand out even though it may make him look stupid, and failing to come through in relationships with characters in the story.

The first time that Holden really declares to the reader his tendency of alienation is during his conversation with Mr. Spencer. Spencer is trying to inspirer Holden to succeed after flunking out of Pencey. He asked about how he flunked out of Elkton Hills and his response clearly shows his alienation. "I didn't really feel like going into the whole thing with him." Holden tells the reader on page 13, "It wasn't up his alley at all. One of the biggest reasons I left Elkton Hills was because I was surrounded by phonies. That's all". In this passage Holden explains to the reader how every student at the school was a "phony" and he was the only non-phony. By making this statement Holden is protecting himself from flunking out of the school and the "pains of school" by clearying telling himself and everyone in his world that everyone at the school was a phony and he was not, therefore he did not fit it.

As the story progresses Holden often brings up the subject of his red hunting cap. In a passage Holden tells the reader that he tells how he wears his cap awkwardly, "I swung the old peak way around to the back- very corny, I'll admit, but I liked it that way. I looked good in it that way. (pg. 18)" Holden is proud of the weird way he wears this red hunting hat and at many other times during the novel brings the subject of the hat up. He feels that he is able to...
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