The problem with Holden in "Catcher in the rye " by J.R Salinger

Good Essays
Holden is a complex person with many conflicting characteristics. He has many

ambitions and desires for his life but he is faced with the basic conflict in the story,

corruption. This corruption is what drives him and at the same time restricts him

Holden 's being surrounded by corruption disgusts him. There are a few main

instances in which Holden encounters corruption directly. One type is Stradlater, the

'secret slob 'or Ernie, who 'performs for the people '. Two that affect Holden very

much is his brother D.B. 'selling out ' to the movies and Pheobe eventually having to

grow up. This corruption is very evident in Holden 's life and situation.

Corruption is what Holden wants to avoid but can not because he wants to grow

up and act like an adult. Drinking, ordering the prostitute, and using money are all

things that grownups do but Holden yet still wants to remain innocent. Theses are

few of the obvious ironies of Holden 's personality.

Holden 's utter hate for the fact that we have to grow up and how he ties

adulthood with corruption just shows how he has a large problem determining illusion

from reality. He doesn 't understand that to grow does not mean to become corrupt

but to become wiser through experience. These experiences are what frighten

Holden because this boy of sixteen has already been involved in many of the

pleasures and problems that come from these experiences. Holden 's 'catcher in the

rye ' analogy shows how he wants to save the children from this corruption but he

never will. Holden wants to be the great savior of a helpless cause and does not

realize he has fallen into the evil hands of corruption.

Holden idolizes Allie is little brother who died. The reason for this idolization is

that Allie will never become corrupt. He will always be in Holden 's mind a little boy

not affected by the dirty hands of society. Pheobe, on the other hand, will have to

enter the world sooner or later and then she too will become

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