The Catcher in the Rye Essay

Submitted By nerdynanna98
Words: 1053
Pages: 5

The Catcher in the Rye In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D Salinger represents childhood as a stressful turn table of mixed emotions. The intense moments of Holden’s life (like in chapter one at the football game, where Holden feels excluded from his entire school as he glares down at everyone in the stadium) are amazing representations of childhood at a glance. Most teenagers go through hell during high school, and Holden Caulfield is a prime example of that. This book was interesting because of Salinger’s amazing ability to tell this story from the perspective that he did. The book is in a fictional character in a hospital’s perspective, telling a story from the past in his perspective. A story within a story is how I like to think of it. Overall, The Catcher in the Rye was a classic. Holden Caulfield is a troubled teen who just doesn’t seem to know what he wants to do with his life. The book is told from his perspective as he recovers from tuberculosis. Holden has been to four schools which he’s been kicked out of for not applying himself. This really reflects how some teenagers feel about school. They don’t apply themselves and nobody really knows why. However, later on in the book, it’s clear that Allie’s, Holden’s brother, death is the source of his troubles. After a couple of fights and a stressful night, Holden abandons Pencey Prep; his fourth school which he claims is full of “phoneys.” It’s a bitter cold night, and he carries all of his belongings with him. He wants to take a train to New York, so he boards one at the station. Throughout the book, Holden flirts with many women. Most of the women were older. On his train in New York, he even hit on an ex-classmate’s mother. Once he made it to New York, he was constantly contemplating on calling several people. Some of them girls that he had crushes on, others old friends. Holden had some strange fascination with sex and a woman’s sexual appeal. In his hotel room, Holden saw quite a show going on in other hotel rooms including a sexual spitting fest and a male cross-dresser. Most teenagers would find this uncomfortable and awkward. Nonetheless, Holden found these events interesting. This is a huge part of, but not exclusive to teenagers. Teenagers go through puberty and Holden is a specimen holding true to this. Adolescence is about growing up, and growing up includes puberty. At the hotel, Holden dances with several women. They laugh at him and mock him and seem to ignore him. The women do enjoy that Holden purchased their drinks and cigarettes, though. Later on, Holden ends up with a whore in his room. He wasn’t exactly thinking thoroughly when he was offered. He began feeling uncomfortable and paid what he was told to pay. Despite being told it would cost him five-bucks for the girl, the girl, Sunny, and her friend, Maurice, return to collect five more dollars. This results in a physical altercation, and Sunny snatching the bill out of his wallet. This scene showed, on its’ own, how teenagers are constantly falsely accused due to their adolescence. Holden has a crush on a girl named Sally. He doesn’t like her as much as Jane but he decides to take her to see a play in a theater. There, Sally converses with a boy from another school whom she used to be close with. This really irks Holden, who claims he’s a phoney. Holden struggles with girls throughout the book. He reveals in the prostitute scene that he’s a virgin, and he doesn’t really understand sex. Holden and Sally go to the skating rink where he tries to get her to run away with him. She refuses him, and their date ends with Holden telling Sally she’s “a royal pain in his ass”. Soon after their date, Holden has a drink with his friend Luce. Holden isn’t old enough to drink, but through the duration of the book he’s seen ordering a soda and scotch. It seems as if in the 1940’s,