Catcher In The Rye Bildungsroman Analysis

Topics: The Catcher in the Rye, Bildungsroman, J. D. Salinger Pages: 5 (1026 words) Published: October 5, 2015

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger tells the story of teen boy, Holden, alone in New York City trying to find himself. A bildungsroman novel “concentrate[s] on the development or education of a central character… Traditionally, this growth occurs according to a pattern:  the sensitive, intelligent protagonist leaves home, undergoes stages of conflict and growth, is tested by crises and love affairs, then finally finds the best place to use his/her unique talents” (The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms). Although Holden does not find the best place to use his unique talents, he does meet the rest of the criteria of a bildungsroman. The novel, The Cather in the Rye, contains the criteria of a bildungsroman because Holden’s...

After Holden witnessed the profanity written in the school, Phoebe and her friends came to his mind. How they would see it and be curious of what it meant then “some dirty kid” would tell them confidently (Salinger 260). Normally people probably would not care or just ignore it, but it made Holden more upset than most people. This action aggravated Holden, all he wanted was to preserve children’s innocence especially Phoebe. Holden cries a lot due to him feeling “so god damn depressed and lonesome” (198). While leaving Pencey, Holden began “sort of crying” although he did not why (68). Holden’s views on the world makes him intelligent. Holden witnessing profanity in the school that most people would look over, Holden found a deeper meaning in the world. When he noticed the third markings, he realized “you can’t ever find a place that’s nice and peaceful, because there isn’t any” (264). Holden views the world in a more intelligent way that most people do not look deep into like he does. The sensitivity and intelligence of Holden assists in making The Catcher in the Rye a bildungsroman.
Holden leaves home meeting one of the criteria of a bildungsroman. Throughout the book Holden escapes the outside world while in New York although his parents believe he still attends Pencey. After getting asked to leave, Holden decides to “get the hell out of Pencey” (66). Holden believed staying and waiting an extra three days made him feel “too sad and lonesome” (66). He felt like he needed “a little vacation” (67). Holden leaving homes meets one of the criteria of a...
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