The Catcher in the Rye Essay

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Holden Caulfield is a teenage boy whom fails to find human connection, this sense of alienation makes it clear that Holden is victim to the American dream. The American dream is the idea that through hard work and determination it is possible for anyone to become prosperous and wealthy. This prosperity should naturally lead to happiness, which in turn suggests that, the American dream is actually about achieving fulfilment. ‘The catcher in the Rye’ is a novel written by J.D. Salinger in 1951, J.D. introduced the world to ‘The teenager’ when he created a seventeen year old male protagonist whom proves himself to be an unreliable narrator. Holden is a part of a wealthy family, his father being a Lawyer and his brother writing for films in Hollywood, he has been to many boarding schools and had a wealthy upbringing. Even though Holden has an affluent life it is evident that he is suffering from alienation. Throughout the text Holden tells stories through a stream of consciousness, he mentions his younger brother that he was close to and reveals the irony of his death along with wanting to be ‘the catcher in the Rye’ to protect children and possibly regain some form of human connection. Early on in the novel Holden speaks of his younger brother Allie while he writes a paper for his roommate. He reveals his fondness of Allie which suggests there was a strong connection which is something that Holden doesn’t have in his life anymore. . ‘I remember once, the summer I was around twelve, teeing off and all, and having a hunch that if I turned around all of a sudden, I’d see Allie. So I did, and sure enough, he was sitting on his bike outside the fence.’ The irony of his brother’s death is that the only person Holden had a connection with, passed away leaving him alienated. Through Allies death it also becomes evident that Holden can’t deal with change. His stream of consciousness continues to explain how he reacted to Allies death. “I broke all the windows in the...
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