Catcher in the rye Essay

Submitted By maxsidesinger
Words: 495
Pages: 2

In J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, is clearly unhappy with his surroundings, which is evident not just by the fact that he is telling his story from some sort of mental hospital, but also by the fact that he seems to find something to dislike in everyone he is around. Whether it’s his roommate Stradlater’s self-obsession, or his neighbor Ackley’s lack of personal hygiene, Holden seems to find something wrong with everyone. From 3 unintelligent girls at a bar to his old girlfriend Sally Hayes, he can’t seem to stand anybody because of their ‘phoniness’. Holden only seems to genuinely like his little sister Phoebe and his deceased little brother Allie. Knowing this, it comes as no surprise that Holden’s coming-of-age moment occurs watching his little sister on a carousel. This instance of Holden watching his little sister shows him finally in a moment of happiness, which shows he has matured to enough to realize that beauty and wonder can exist even in adolescence and adulthood, despite all its ‘phoniness’. This connects to an overall theme that in the difficulty of growing up, one must realize that idyllic youth can’t last forever, and that one must find happiness in adulthood. Holden is convinced that most all teenagers and adults are phony, and that their behaviors are ugly, and with many of the people he meets, it is hard to doubt him believing that; nonetheless, he must find a way to cope with growing up. At one point, Holden is in a bar called Ernie’s and he is very irate about his poor seat and about how phony everyone around him is. To describe the people around him, he says, “I was surrounded by jerks. I’m not kidding… there was this funny-looking guy and this funny-looking girl… He was the most boring guy I ever listened to.” (111). This quote shows just one of