How Does Holden Caulfield See Himself as "The Catcher in the Rye"?

Topics: Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye, Joan Caulfield Pages: 3 (1066 words) Published: August 28, 2012
How does Holden Caulfield see himself as ‘The Catcher in the Rye’?

Most teenagers are rebels because they do not know how to deal with the transition from childhood innocence to adult corruption. This is a recurrent behavior displayed by the protagonist in J.D. Salinger’s, ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ – Holden Caulfield. The book maps the three impactful days that played a pivotal role in his life. During this time frame, Holden got thrown out of school, ran away from his school before he was scheduled to leave and went to New York. We do not know Holden’s exact location while he is narrating the story but it is clear that he is undergoing treatment in a mental hospital. Holden expresses his desire to preserve innocence in the world by repeatedly saying that the only thing he would ever want to be is ‘The Catcher in the Rye’.

Holden Caulfield starts the book by saying, ‘.... 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…’ what Holden does not realize is that his parents are occupied even now, after they had him, this shows that he isn’t close to his parents. He doesn’t really care. When Caulfield talks about his brother D.B.’s short story, ‘The Secret Goldfish’, he says that it was about a little child that would not let anyone look at his goldfish because he had bought it with his own money. This is such a childish trait and innocent thing to do. The child probably had saved some of his pocket money and bought this goldfish and felt possessive about it. Holden has a very clear perception about everything. He can see right through a person and he hates phonies. While Holden’s teacher Mr. Spencer was talking to him, Holden was thinking about where the ducks at the lagoon in Central Park go when the lagoon gets frozen and icy. This doubt of his is repeated several times in the book. He wonders where these ducks go when times get hard. Similarly,...
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