“The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger

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Holden Caulfield – the main character of the novel “The catcher in the rye” seems to be a nice guy, but he just lost orienting points in his life. He tries to put on the roles of adult life, and in the background of this trying just makes a lot of mistakes. He has lots of difficulties in communication with his counterparts in the Pencey Prep and in all the previous schools. The fact is, the reader is fully on the side of Holden, as the insincerity and affectation of the communication and the attitudes of his neighbors in the room and in the hostel, in general, I pictured really brightly.

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Holden, who is 16, appearing to be older than his age, yet his features and behavior contradict that impression. Also, though he presumes himself to look more adult than he is. One of Holden’s most arresting and typical features is his powerful revulsion for “phony” human qualities. Qualities such as egotism, hypocrisy, and ostentation embody Holden’s concept of phoniness and Holden is adept at understanding these features in other people.

This supplies to bolster Holden’s cynicism and as a result, adds to his mistrust of other people. Fascinatingly, despite Holden’s sturdy disdain for phony features, he shows some of the features that he detests, thereby making him a rather tragic character. Holden is very much a character of the challenge, he is tall for his age and already has grey hair, and yet he himself confesses that he acts more like a 12-year-old than an adult. He reveals aptitude and yet constantly fails classes.

Caulfield tells his story in cynical language, often using reproachful language and vulgarity.

His aggression for all the surrounding world may be explained just by the non-coincidence of his expectations. He deals with the teenagers like he is, and they also try to try the roles of the adults, but they just chose the wrong roles, and happened to be cynical, hypocritical: what depresses and irritates Holden.

The factor of aging also played a role in Holden’s attitude to the world. The awkward age is the age when everything irritates, and teenagers just strive to become older as soon as possible, as they consider themselves adult enough for staying kids.

According to the notion of the biopsychosocial model Holden feels stranger in this world, as he starts thinking that nobody understands him, and no one is able to reply to his questions, including the question of the ducks on the pond. The emotional condition is very changeable, which is not surprising for the teenager, especially that, who acts a bit aggressively.

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As for the sexual motivation, the hormonal activity reveals. He tries to take the example of some of his friends, but when the opportunity to have sex appears, the childish nature and the fear of obscurity take dominance, and Holden appears to be the child, who vigorously wants to grow up. The following passage explains it: Maurice, the lift operator at the Edmont, suggests sending a prostitute to Holden’s room for five dollars, and he agrees.

A young woman, calling herself “Sunny,” arrives. She pulls off her clothing, but Holden starts feeling “peculiar” and tries to talk with her. He asserts that he recently experienced a spinal operation and is not adequately recovered to have sex with her, but he offers to pay her nonetheless. She sits in his room and talks dirty, but he persists in paying her five dollars and showing her the door. Sunny returns with Maurice, who demands another five dollars from Holden. When Holden refuses to pay, Maurice punches him in the stomach and leaves him on the floor, while Sunny takes five dollars from his wallet. Holden goes to bed. The first sexual experience seemed to be both bitter and edifying. First, it upset him, but any experience is precious for further life.

The problems with the studies are closely linked to the described problem of communication, as the location with the people who irritate him in the same room takes away any wish to study. Moreover, the pseudo adultness signifies for him that he is free to choose what to study and what not to. It is explained in the text in the way. That Holden loves history, and he is in good relations with the teacher but he can not study, as he desires to change the school, even though he has already changed lots.

The novel ends with the moment when He buys his sister a ticket for the carousel and watches her ride it. It starts to rain heavily, but Holden is so happy watching his sister riding that he is close to tears. Holden ends his narrative here, telling the reader that he is not going to tell the story of how he went home and got sick.

This image gives to realization, that life is going to change, the peak period of becoming an adult and adapting to the social life is behind, but new challenges are ahead.

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"“The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger." Premium Papers, 17 Sept. 2021, premium-papers.com/the-catcher-in-the-rye-by-j-d-salinger/.


Premium Papers. (2021) '“The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger'. 17 September.


Premium Papers. 2021. "“The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger." September 17, 2021. https://premium-papers.com/the-catcher-in-the-rye-by-j-d-salinger/.

1. Premium Papers. "“The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger." September 17, 2021. https://premium-papers.com/the-catcher-in-the-rye-by-j-d-salinger/.


Premium Papers. "“The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger." September 17, 2021. https://premium-papers.com/the-catcher-in-the-rye-by-j-d-salinger/.