Books and Movies Reviews

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is a novel about a young character’s growth into

maturity. The themes throughout The Catcher in the Rye share a common resemblance with the

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personality of the main character, Holden Caulfield, which can be easily distinguished by the

reader. The significant themes that tie together with Holden’s character include the painfulness of

growing up, “phoniness” of the adult world, and alienation as a form of self-protection.

“Certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of

those big glass cases and just leave them alone.”(p.122) This quote Caulfield articulates about

while discussing how things were different each time he went to the museum, originates from an

inability to accept that he must grow up. Instead of acknowledging that adulthood scares and

mystifies, Holden invents a fantasy that adulthood is a world of superficiality and hypocrisy, while

childhood is a world of innocence, curiosity, and honesty. Caulfield is a hostile, negatively

charged character who suffers from depression, which stems from a desire to not grow up, and a

lack of closure involving his brother’s death. Caulfield does not express normal rebellion like the

usual fictional teenagers. He distrusts his teachers and parents, not because he wants to separate

himself from them, but because he cannot relate with them. The only people he trusts and respects

are Allie, his deceased brother, and Phoebe, his younger sister. Caulfield views the world as an

evil and corrupt place where there is no peace. At one point, Caulfield was residing in the vicinity

of Manhattan. The city was decked with decorations and holiday splendour, yet, much to

Caulfield’s despair seldom yields any occasion of peace, charity or even genuine merriment.

He is surrounded by what he views as drunk, perverted, and selfish adults, whic…

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