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Essay about Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Sallinger

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“Don’t tell people what you are thinking, or you will miss them terribly when you are away” (Salinger 214) says Holden Caulfeild as he warns the world. Salingers novel pinpoints the many fears and phobias of growing up from an immature, pessimistic, “everybody’s a goddam phony” perspective that makes it relate-able to young transitioning teenagers. Salinger's Caulfeild is afraid of growing up and the unknown prospects of entering the adult world after experiencing a life changing event. Holden, clinging to his innocence, most importantly learns how the Phony adult world not only treats people like HC poorly, but it kills them.
Salingers Novel is told in first person perspective by a seventeen year old Holden Coufeild who longs for the attention and care of those around him subconsciously. This HC makes everybody empathize with him compared to the lousy sixteen year old who its happening to and cant get anybody to listen. Immediately, as the story begins HC disregards his “lousy childhood” and his “whole damn autobiography” to explain how he got to this “crumby place”(Salinger 1). Immediately HC had a lousy attitude towards the world. Perhaps Salinger is trying to express his feelings through his character and imply that his feelings of void also derive from his parents. Very rarely are his parents involved in his life. As a teenager he has already been sent to four different boarding schools that may have caused him to feel neglected. HC indirectly points out the indiscretions of our parents. Salinger describes all the wrongs of growing up, that its almost all the things he would change if he could go back in time.
As a World War II fighter and writer, Salinger lost his innocence in a way that we never will experience. Man...


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...tolini proved to be phony. The only adult who paid attention to him had alterior motive.
It isn’t until the very end when “Phoebe kept going around and around” that the boy who never wanted anything to change stops thinking about time as an approach towards corrupt adulthood, and starts thinking about it as a circle around and around, to and from innocence that lasts a lifetime. Throughout the Novel HC is a boy at war with social expectations of teenage behavior. Sallingers time during WWII caused destruction and destroyed him mentally, he had to fight to survive. HC himself is simply just a solider trying to survive in a generation where he doesn’t fit in. Cather in the Rye s a war novel in itself and Salinger is simply portraying his vision of war in a different way.


Works Cited

Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, 1951. Print


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