Analysis Of Catcher In The Rye By J. D. Salinger

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The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger presents Holden Caulfield’s flashback of his first few days after being kicked out of Pencey Prep. The adults and teachers in Holden’s life believe that he does not apply himself in school. Holden feels that most people, especially adults, are phonies, so he childishly chooses not to listen to them. In Holden’s mind, no one reaches the level of perfection Allie, Holden’s dead younger brother, creates. Holden perceives the world through two extremes, the perfect and ideal or the worst. Holden ideally wishes Allie was preserved like how Egyptian mummies were, instead of rotting away in the ground. Since Allie is a cardinal part of Holden’s childhood, Holden desires to preserve his childhood like a museum, and he tries to stop adulthood by …show more content…
While going to deliver a note to Phoebe at her school, Holden sees the words “fuck you.” Immediately, Holden is infuriated and says, “I hardly even had the guts to rub it off the wall with my hand, if you want to know the truth. I was afraid some teacher would catch me rubbing it off and would think I'd written it. But I rubbed it out anyway, finally” (261). Holden still tries to preserve purity by erasing the phrase. The phrase sums up all the qualities of Holden’s definition of adulthood. By erasing the phrase, Holden acts as the catcher in the rye, preventing children from the corruption of adulthood. However, later, the phrase appears again carved into the wall; therefore, Holden cannot erase. Then, in the museum, the phrase is written on the wall again. The museum, a place of incorruption, is violated by the phrase. Holden is upset when he sees the phrase multiple times, but he begins to realize it is impossible to erase all of these phrases in the world. Holden questions whether he can actually stop adulthood, including its

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