An Analysis of The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger Essay

Submitted By jordans18
Words: 2726
Pages: 11

Jordan Shelton
11-19-12
Paidea Preperation the Catcher in the Rye
Questions
1. I my opinion I think this novel is filled with both pessimism and optimism. The main character Holden Caulfield contains within his character both of these traits. I think that Holden holds a more pessimistic view of life in the beginning of the book where he always assumes the worst of things and doesn’t pertain a positive outlook on life. In the end of the novel, Holden finally achieves the feeling that he is going to go back to school and receive a better education and he is in a mindset where he is thinking positively for the most part about everything. 2. I think Holden is more concerned about others throughout the novel because he always thinks of others and what they are probably feeling or thinking. He does think about himself in some ways like every human being but I think he tends to lean more towards thinking of other people. 3. The novel has a very simple social class within it. The adults and the kids. The adults have superiority and the kids are trying to establish themselves in society. 4. The deaths of his brother and James Castle affect Holden’s view on mortality. Experiencing the lossf his brother Allie to leukemia when he was 12 years old shows us Holden’s maturity with death at a young age. The death of his brother causes him to retreat into a stage of worthlessness, flunking out of school and having a pessimistic view on life. 5. Holden Caulfield rebels against the functionality of society and the regulations of those superior to him. Like any teenager he is growing into the maturity of adulthood and he’s trying to figure out where he belongs 6. In the first paragraph he says that he isn't going to tell you his whole life story and then goes on to tell quite a bit about events in his life. He also says that he isn't going to tell you anything personal about his mother and father. He doesn't mention Anything basic about them but does mention his father wasting money investing in shows and his mother being nervous and unhealthy. Holden says that he is an atheist but then talks about Allie being in heaven and saying that he can't pray whenever he feels like it. Holden is rather down on Catholics but some of the only people in the city whose company he enjoys are the two nuns in the diner. 7. As humans age they lose their innocence and become corrupted. There is one point in time between the changes from child to adult, the child loses its innocence. In novel, Holden realizes that innocence cannot be protected forever. Everything that he is innocent becomes corrupted. He learns that it is ones innocence cannot be held forever. In J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye Holden Caulfield portrays that innocence cannot be protected and is driven to insanity by the corruption that exist in society. During Holden’s stay in New York he encounters many problems and people. One of the people he encounters is Sunny. Holden orders a prostitute but when she comes, he has second thoughts about her. When he hangs up her dress he thinks that ‘the salesman probably just thought she was a regular girl” (Salinger 96). This shows that innocence cannot be protected forever. Sunny has already lost her innocence by becoming a prostitute. Everybody around her thought that she was probably a regular girl, but in reality was a prostitute. He feels pity that the innocence in her has been lost. 8. Holden wants to become the Catcher in the Rye, conserving and preserving childlike innocence in its purest form, and protecting children from the vices they will face in adulthood. Ultimately, The Catcher in the Rye is significant because it symbolizes Holden as the ‘Preserver of Innocence’ but at the same time, amplifies Holden’s realization that he is powerless to preserve it on his own. 9. I think young women can relate to this novel as well because they go through the stages of adolescence as well developing…