The Loneliness of Holden Caulfield

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The Loneliness of Holden Caulfield

By | November 2012
Page 1 of 7
The Loneliness of Holden Caulfield
in the Catcher in the Rye

Abstract: Though controversial, the novel the Catcher in The Rye appealed to a great number of people. It was a hugely popular bestseller and general critical success. The Catcher in the Rye was frequently read as a tale of an individual’s alienation within a heartless world. Holden seemed to stand for young people everywhere, who felt themselves be set on all sides by pressures to grow up and live their lives according to the rules, to disengage from meaningful human connection. In his age, young people can easily feel lonely. This feeling is universal to young people.

Key words: loneliness, Holden,

Biography of the Author
Born in New York City on the first day of 1919, J.D. Salinger is the son of a Jewish father and a Christian mother. After brief periods of enrollment at both NYU and Columbia University, Salinger devoted himself entirely to writing, and by 1940 he had published several short stories in periodicals. Although his career as a writer was interrupted by World War II, Salinger returned from service in 1946 and resumed his career, writing primarily for The New Yorker, as well as many other well-known publications.

Salinger has continually enjoyed major critical and popular acclaim with The Catcher in the Rye, the story of Holden Caulfield, a rebellious boarding-school student who attempts to run away from the adult world that he finds "phony." In many ways reminiscent of Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Salinger's only novel finds great sympathy for its wayward child protagonist. It drew from characters he had created in two short stories published in 1945 and 1946, "This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise" and "I'm Crazy." The latter story is an alternate take on several of the chapters in The Catcher in the Rye (1935).

Since 1953, Salinger has resided in Cornish, New Hampshire, and claims that he continues to write. Although details about Salinger are...