catcher in the rye essay

Topics: Meaning of life, Life, Hero Pages: 4 (1422 words) Published: February 24, 2014

Holden’s Journey
In the Catcher in the Rye written by J.D Salinger Holden follows in the footsteps of tragic heroes in ancient myths. Throughout Holden’s journey he endures many unique experiences he must overcome in order to succeed. In addition he also possesses a tragic flaw just as all the heroes do. This tragic flaw will bring about their demise if they do not properly deal with it, and cope with the aftermath. In The Catcher in the Rye author J.D Salinger explains how Holden journeys to find the meaning of life in the Hero’s journey.

To begin the Hero’s journey the ordinary world of Holden must be analyzed before he is able to depart on his journey to find the meaning of life. Holden is originally located at “Pency prep in Agerstown” the starting location of the Hero’s journey (2). This is the normal world in which Holden’s journey begins, and he is initially confronted with his problems. The second stage of Holden’s journey is when he “gets the hell out” of Pency and departs on his adventure (52). After leaving Holden is distraught, and has very little idea what he wants to do next. He is left with the task of finding the meaning of his life, and what to do with his time. Holden embarks on this Hero’s journey in order to answer the problem he is faced with; finding his purpose. Holden however fears the journey ahead and decides to “wake up Ackley” and linger around at Pency even after he has been kicked out (50). This clearly demonstrates the internal conflict which exists in Holden. Holden’s fear is causing him to refuse the call and try to find excuses for not embarking on his journey. Furthering his lingering Holden contemplates “see[ing] what old Mal Brossard was doing” something he clearly does not wish to do (51). This is Holden bargaining to stay at Pency or to respond to the call to adventure. Holden decides with the ladder and begins his journey. However, Heroes must seek guidance in a mentor before finally departing on their journey. Mr....
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