Catcher in the Rye and Lennons death Essay

Submitted By Jamie-Moor
Words: 752
Pages: 4

There are many comparisons between Holden Caulfield, the main character in the book the Catcher and the Rye and Mark David Chapman, the man who killed John Lennon. Mark David Chapman claims that he is the reincarnation of Holden because he is the “catcher of children” that are going to fall off the cliff into adulthood, just like Holden thought of himself. Both viewed adults and as being phony and adulthood as throwing away the childlike beliefs that keep children innocent and pure. Both were also alienated as youth and mainly kept to themselves and inside their own heads. They also got into trouble in their teenage years, Chapman’s had to do with drug usage, and Caulfield was a drinker. As Chapman grew up, he felt as though he was a “keeper of children.” He began working with a Vietnamese refugee camp for the YMCA. He was close to the children there and liked to portray himself as being a fun- loving, playful guy. This role is much like Caulfield’s thoughts were to how he wanted his younger sister to see him. He enjoyed watching her childlike innocence and wanted her to think of him as a fun and playful person who was not going to grow up.
John Lennon is comparable to Stradlater, Caulfields’ roommate at boarding school, because he is someone who Chapman looked up to and admired. However, once he grew up and became a husband and father, he gained wealth and no longer lived in a world of zero responsibilities and partying. As a result, Chapman wrote him off as someone who fell of the cliff into adulthood and he was angry at him for that. He felt like because of his fame, he was now the epitome of someone who had traded childhood for adulthood, which was the reason he needed to die. Stradlater was someone whom Caulfield admired and was friendly with until he went on a date with Jane, whom Caulfield knew growing up and with whom he was in love with. After he found out that Stradlater went out with her and possibly had sexual relations with her, Caulfield grew angry and disgusted with him and basically wrote him off as a friend. There is also a sense in the book that, if given the chance, Caulfield could be someone with suicidal tendencies, and although it is never stated, that could be the reason that he wound up in the mental hospital at the beginning of the book. Chapman attempted suicide in Hawaii, where he tried to kill himself inside his car through carbon monoxide poisoning. While there are many comparisons that suggest that Chapman had several qualities in common with Caulfield, I think that the actions prior to John Lennon’s death were possibly done because of the book or was just pure coincidence. Chapman chose to go explore