Catcher In The Rye Essay

Submitted By swagmaster1269
Words: 955
Pages: 4

Koby Hinnant
January 13, 2013
Holden Caulfield: Smart or Stupid? Many people, after reading The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger, may think that Holden Caulfield is not a very bright person. They may be right in thinking that, but the author was trying to show throughout the book that he actually was very intelligent, just maybe not scholarly way. This novel gives investigates the ideas of many different themes to help show what life was like for Holden Caulfield over the period of a few days. Furthermore, Salinger creates many different kinds of symbolism throughout the story to signify the character of Holden Caulfield. All of these items in this story about Holden Caulfield hint at how he finally comes to grasp with his life, how much of hole he is in, and that he needs start applying himself to life. Within the start of the book, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden’s character consisted of him being horrible in school (except in English). He considers all of those around him in the school to be phonies, and “one of the biggest reasons [he] left Elkton Hills was because [he] was surrounded by phonies” (13). Likewise, Holden’s character was also very isolated throughout the course of most of the story. He never really had many true friends that he talked about where he loved them and had to be with them. Sure, he had a date for a little while, and there was Jane, but it never implied that he wouldn’t be able to live without them, so he led somewhat of a lonely life other than those few people mentioned. But when the story was coming to a close, that all changed when he found out how much his sister truly cared for him and loved him. When she said “I’m going with you” (206), although he may be mad at her, he is forever transformed from a lonely person to a man who will never be isolated again because his sister will always be there for him. In addition, for most of the story, Holden was always depressed because of other people’s misfortune. After seeing his sister ride the carousel, this part of him is changed too. Although the story ends just a little after that part, it foreshadows that Holden will enjoy his life more than he used to in the future to come. Salinger brought many themes into this story and developed them over the course of a few days of Holden’s life. The storyline of The Catcher in the Rye is highly centered on lies and deceit. Holden is always talking about how people were the “phoniest bastard[s] [he] ever met in [his] life” (13). This signifies that everyone is not being themselves, they are putting on another act when they around people, so they are deceiving each other. This particular idea also fits within the theme of youth. Most of the adults in the storyline are portrayed as being very phony, whereas on the other hand, the children in the book are all depicted as caring and kindhearted. Take Allie, or Phoebe, for example. Both of them were kind to everybody and caring, as it was showed when Holden asked to borrow some Christmas money and she said “You can take it all” (179). By saying that, it shows how compassionate she truly was by letting him take all of her money. The idea of innocence is shown many times throughout this book and the novel would be lacking without it. Holden shows his innocence when he has a prostitute come to his room, yet he changes his mind and only wants to talk with her. This shows that Holden