The Catcher and the Rye: Tragedy or Comedy?

Topics: Holden Caulfield Pages: 3 (1123 words) Published: May 9, 2008
The Catcher and the Rye: Tragedy or Comedy?

In the novel The Catcher and the Rye by J.D. Salinger, I viewed the novel as a tragedy. This novel is based on a sixteen-year-old boy named Holden Caulfield who has not decided what he wants to pursue in life. From the beginning of the novel you get an assumption of what state of mind Holden is in. He began saying in the text “ IF YOU REALLY want to hear about is, the first thing you’ll proberly want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied….” This first sentence basically foretells what type of novel this will solely be based on. His childhood has never been fulfilling to him. Even though his parents have money and send him to all those high priced schools, does not change the fact that money doesn’t buy happiness.

This novel is basically his negative perspective on life and how he wants to escape all the problems he endured. The only person he has ever related to and had a close bond with was dead. When he found out his brother dead of leukemia he stated, “The night he died I broke all the goddamn widows with my fist, just for the hell of it” This just shows how much his brother meant to him. He has never gotten over the death of his brother Allie. When he did mention his brothers name Allie, he would imply in the text that “ You would have liked him.” He never mentioned if he had gotten over his brothers death. There was another example when his roommate Stradlater asked Holden if he could write a descriptive paper on any object. Holden accepted and wrote the paper on his brothers Allies mitt. After he wrote it, he felt happier. Within the first few chapters of the novel, that was the only thing that made him happy. When Stradlater read the paper Holden wrote for him he yelled at Holden and said, “You don’t do one damn thing the way you’re supposed to” That made Holden so upset that he took the paper and ripped it up. This example just...
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