Critical Analysis Of Catcher In The Rye

Topics: The Catcher in the Rye, Last Day of the Last Furlough, I'm Crazy Pages: 5 (1066 words) Published: December 13, 2015


In the popular novel The Catcher In The Rye, the main protagonist, Holden Caulfield is introduced as angsty, judgemental, and politically incorrect. He is constantly making comments and critiquing individual people, as well as society as a whole. As a student at Pencey Prep, a school well known for its outstanding reputation for academic achievement, this type of attitude is not accepted, and as a result, Holden is ostracized by his peers regularly. While it is not directly stated what causes this aggressive behavior in Holden, the literary theory of psychoanalysis can prove to be useful. Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis states that unconscious impulses, needs, wants, and desires are what drives essential human behavior. With this...

Holden tells us that the advertisement for Pencey that’s “in about a thousand magazines” always shows a hot shot guy riding a horse jumping over a fence. He demolishes this ad by commenting that he has “never even once seen a horse anywhere near the place.” Holden believes that the advertisement portrays something untrue about Pencey, and therefore is false, or phony. In addition to not liking the ‘bait’ that Pencey uses to lure wealthy parents there, he doesn’t seem to show an interest in his school sports teams, or see why anyone would want to. Holden mocks the stereotypical student at Pencey by sarcastically saying that “You were supposed to commit suicide or something if old Pencey didn’t win.” Holden sees no reason to be heavily involved in school life, both academically and spiritually. It’s Holden’s snide attitude toward school in general that sparks an even bigger flame in judging his peers. Holden eventually releases the bottled up emotions he’s experiencing during a date with Sally Hayes, by exploding into a rant on just how phony the school really is. “The guys that are on the basketball team stick together, the Catholics stick together, the goddamn intellectuals stick together, the guys that play bridge stick together. Even the guys that belong to the goddam Book-of-the-Month Club stick together.” It is evident in this outburst that Holden is exhausted of seeing cliques of people strolling around the halls who feel that they actually have a role being at...
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