Essay Student: Character and Holden

Submitted By Jacqueliner2000
Words: 763
Pages: 4


Risk
In J.D Salinger’s novel “Catcher of the Rye”, the main protagonist of the novel, Holden Caulfield, tries to embrace the adult world with the eyes and fantasy of a child. Regardless of the consequences, he ventures off into the city alone, and tries to communicate his loneliness upon other characters within the novel; however he fails to do so. This helps contributes to the longing of communication between others and coming of age the novel presents.
It is evident that Holden is indeed, alone; or rather he feels alone. Throughout the novel there are many situations to where he tries to interact with people about this. In the beginning, He stands alone on a hill where he watches a football game, away from people. Later on he tries to tell his roommate what to bring on his first date with a girl that Holden also likes. However his roommate is not interested in this which results in a fight that drives Holden away from the school. When Holden is about to leave the campus due to his suspension, he decides to visit a teacher, Mr. Spencer, whom he likes. Although it was his idea, he regrets it because Mr. Spencer gave Holden a lecture on how he never applied himself in his studies. After he runs away from Pensy Academy, he tries to communicate with his taxi driver, asking where the ducks go during the winter, however the driver isn’t interested. Throughout his stay in New York City he tries to buy others drinks and go so far as to invite women into his hotel room. The many characters in these novels take advantage of Holden for his generosity, which is one of the reasons that Holden retreats into his shell. He takes numerous risks trying to break out of this, however both mental and physical inflictions occur, such as the girl he likes turning him down or the strippers manager who punches him in the stomach. The one type of proper communication that Holden does try to successfully have is with his sister. Although Holden is seen as a cynical character that is very resentful and full of angst, he appears geniually concern for his sister and her affairs in home and at school. One possible explanation for this is that he feels more attached to the child’s world than the adult’s world.
In one part of the novel, Holden misreads a children’s poem, seeing it as the ‘Catcher in the Rye’ rather than “Coming though the Rye”. This part of the poem is significant to one of the overall aspect of the novels as it implies Holden’s refusal to grow up. By misreading this, it shows Holden’s want to save children from the rye, the rye being adulthood. Throughout the novel there is a clash between the worlds seen by both Child and Adult as Holden sees it. The want to see the ducks and the museum of natural…