J. D. Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye

Submitted By katiesailor
Words: 614
Pages: 3

Sailor 1

Katie Sailor
Mrs. Serki
English Block E
Feb 14 2011
A Meaningful Change Holden Caulfield’s brooding character is known to many readers who have explored the novel the Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. If this book is read without thoroughly analyzing its meaning, someone might say it was a comedy with a few dark twists. Truthfully, there are comic scenes that make the reader laugh while reading, but there are many serious moments that lead up to Holden’s breakdown. This novel can be classified as a comic novel with philosophical insights in almost every paragraph. Holden’s depression is revealed through jokes, swearing, and his everyday habits of blaming his problems on other people, an picking them apart. Holden’s flair for comedy actually reflects his depression. He does this cleverly, trying to hide his low feelings by dwelling on his acquaintances’ problems. An example of this is when Holden and Sally are out on a date. Holden’s main problem is that he wants to get out of New York, away from the public, and be alone for once. He asks Sally to join him, practically forcing the idea on her. When she respectively says no, Holden says, “You give me a royal pain in the ass if you want to know the truth”(133). This is unfair of Holden to say, and he realizes it only when it’s too late. His problems get in the way of his personal relationships with people, even when he tries to be honest. Another time when Holden gets into an awkward situation, is with the prostitute, Sunny. “It made me feel sort of sad when I hung [her dress] up. I thought of her going into the store and buying it, and nobody in the store knowing she was a prostitute and
Sailor 2 all”(96). He is depressed at the thoughts of her life being sad, which shows that he does have feelings for others. This novel has a deep philosophical side to it as well. Holden has realizations about life that amaze all age groups of readers. He can be so childish and comical, leading himself into bad situations, and then recall his desire for meaning in a short second. When Holden is recalling his fond memories of the history museum, he remembers his favorite