October 17th, 2011
Looking at his own character through a window in other people encourages Holden to take on a job as the catcher of others. His adolescent years are not his finest, causing Holden to make himself there for others; so that people will not go over the edge, like he does. Holden feels comfort in helping others, “…I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff.” (Salinger 173) Phoebe, his sister, is one of the main people Holden feels he needs to be there for all the time. Holden tends to remain independently strong; however his weakness lies in his inability to part from others. Mr. Antolini, one of Holden’s favorite teachers, talks with Holden about fixing his immaturity to prevent failure. Mr. Antolini acts as Holden’s catcher in this situation. Although Holden is failing to mature, he understands that he has been unsuccessful and wishes to save others from his mistakes.
Holden’s misquote of the poem relates to his attitude toward himself and to others. Holden wants his future occupation to be the catcher in which he can help others keep their innocence and prevent corruption that comes with adult life. He does not want to “meet” anybody, as Robert Burns suggests; rather he wants to catch them. It does not seem that it was by chance that Holden misquoted the author. Holden resists making connections; however he does turn to Mr. Antolini. Holden’s inability to make connections proves his immaturity. Holden turns to Mr. Antolini because he feels he can confide in him and get help in his situation with his family and his future. Basically, Mr. Antolini tells Holden that he should find what he's passionate about because it'll prevent him from a fall. He also gives him a quote, “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” (188) This helps to prove that Holden is immature in...
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