Thematic essay on catcher in the rye

Thematic essay on catcher in the rye

Thematic essay on catcher in the rye

Pages: 4

Words: 3106

Rewriting Possibility: 75%


FOR YOU for only

In The Catcher and the Rye, written by J. D Slinger, we are introduced to Holder Coalfield, the 17 year old narrator and protagonist of the novel. In the beginning of the story Holder is at a resting home in California. Holder tells the readers what happened to him over a two day period in the previous December. In this essay I will identify a theme from this story and explain how it is developed in the novel. In my opinion an important theme of the Catcher in the Rye is the painfulness of growing up.

Many people interpreted this novel to be a coming f age novel, due to the fact that it talks about issues teenagers go through. Readers can relate to Holder Coalfield because of his disdain to the process of maturity. For example, in chapter 1 6, Holder ‘s thoughts about the Museum of Natural History establishes Holder’s fear on change and how overwhelmed he is Of complexity. Holder wants everything to be easy to understand and a fixed, An example of this is the statues of Eskimos and Native Americans in the museum.

Holder doesn’t really understand what going on around him. He acknowledges this fear with his confusion on sex, “sex is something just don’t understand. I swear to God I don’t”. Holder invents a fantasy that being an adult is a world of superficiality and phoniness. Holder also feels that childhood is a world of innocence, curiosity, and honesty. In my opinion, Holder’s view on childhood and adulthood are immature and foolish. Holder conceptions are very shallow and are proven shallow by his former teacher Mr.. Mandolin and his little sister Phoebe.

Holder has a dream about being a catcher in the rye. He envisions childhood as a peaceful field of rye in which children play and rum. Adulthood, in Holder’s fantasy, is equivalent to death, or a fatal fall or the edge. Holder’s beliefs on childhood allow Holder to alienate himself from the real world, by using him cynical attitude and sarcasm as a protective armor. A symbol of Holder’s disregard to growing up, is his curiosity to where the ducks in Central Park go for the winter. The reader is revealed to a more youthful side of Holder.

This is surprising because Holder, for a majority of he book acts like a grumpy old man who is angry at the world. In my opinion Holder’s pondering on where the ducks go for the winter, signifies where he want to go in life. Holder, in my opinion, in confused about his future and what he wants to with his life. This is an important moment, because Holder clearly lacks the willingness to apply himself and make decisions in aspects of his life. The ducks in the pond are very symbolic in many ways. The ducks prove that the things some Of us hold dear to us, can vanish.

Holder knows sows this feels due to the death of his younger brother Allies whose death was very hard on Holder. Holder is traumatized and is made aware of the delicacy of life, and is horrified by the idea of change and disappearance. Though, unlike Allele, the ducks vanish, but come back every year. This symbolizes change that isn’t permanent but seasonal. In conclusion, Holder Cullied is a very relaTABLE character. What Holder goes through, may people have faced in their adolescent stage. Many teenagers have felt isolated, alienated, depressed, angry, confused, and essential.

In other words they were struggling. The difference between most people and Holder is the fact that they made an effort to leave this stage in the past and apply themselves, while Holder jokes over the fact that he should apply himself. In the end, Holder, is in an existential crisis. To a great extent, Holder is numb to the pains and joys of life. He is unTABLE to come to terms of Allies death. Holder never had anyone other than Phoebe to express a brotherly love, so whenever someone does end up showing Holder affection he rejects it.

Catcher in the Rye Theme Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

11/25/12 The Catcher in the Rye Theme Essay The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger is a novel about the life of a troubled teenage boy called Holden Caulfield. He believes that he’s surrounded by phonies. Therefore, Holden spends a few days in a New York hotel in the search of something real in his life. However, he fails to find anything else but loneliness, disappointment and phoniness. There are many themes to this novel, but in my opinion the three main themes are loss of innocence, dealing with death and lack of communication. These themes describe why Holden’s life is how it is.

The loss of innocence is caused by the environment one is surrounded by and growing up to be an adult. When Holden walked over to the museum of natural history, he remembered the time he went there during school. He examines the difference between innocence and youth. “The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish… Nobody’d be different. The only thing that would be different would be you.

Not that you’d be so much older or anything. It wouldn’t be that exactly. You’d just be different, that’s all. ” (Salinger 121) Holden makes the point that in a museum nothing would change, but as kids grow up they lose their innocence and join the adult world. Furthermore, Holden loves to spend time with his sister Phoebe because she understands him very well. However, spending a lot of time with Holden changes Phoebe’s attitude. This is seen when their mother comes home and she goes into Phoebe’s room because she saw the lights flicker on and off. “‘Phoebe, have you been smoking a cigarette in here?

Catcher in the Rye Theme Essay

We have so large base of authors that we can prepare a unique summary of any book. Don’t believe? Check it!

How fast would you like to get it?

Tell me the truth, please, young lady. ’ ‘What? ’ old Phoebe said. ‘You heard me. ’ ‘I just lit for one second. I just took one puff. Then I threw it out the window. ’ … ‘Well. Go to sleep now. How was your dinner? ’ ‘Lousy,’ Phoebe said. ‘You heard what your father said about using that word. ” (Salinger 177) Phoebe was lying to her mother and talked back in a disrespectful tone. This shows the influence that Holden had on her. In addition, Holden doesn’t want children to grow up because he feels that the adult world is corrupt and full of phonies.

This is seen when Holden tries to erase the curse words off the wall of Phoebe’s school. “While I was sitting down, I saw something that drove me crazy. Somebody’d written ‘Fuck you’ on the wall. It drove me damn near crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and how they’d wonder what the hell it meant, and then finally some dirty kid would tell them — all cockeyed, naturally — what it meant, and how they’d all think about it and maybe even worry about it for a couple of days. I kept wanting to kill whoever’d written it. (Salinger 201) This shows how much Holden cares about the innocence of little kids and doesn’t want it to be lost because then you grow up faster. Dealing with death is very difficult, especially when there’s no closure. Holden loved his brother Allie very much and he displays many feelings that show that he really cared for Allie. This is seen when he tells us how he reacted to Allie’s death. “I was only thirteen, and they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all the windows in the garage. I don’t blame them. I really don’t.

I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it. ” (Salinger 39) This shows that Holden was really depressed and didn’t know how else to show his anger and aggression. Furthermore, Holden later then tells us that he never attended Allie’s funeral because he was at the hospital after hurting his hand. “I wasn’t there. I was still in the hospital. I had to go to the hospital and all after I hurt my hand. Anyway, I kept worrying that I was getting pneumonia, with all those hunks of ice in my hair, and that I was going to die. Then I thought about the whole bunch them sticking me in a goddam cemetery and all, with my name on this tombstone and all. ” (Salinger 155) This shows that he never got to say goodbye to his brother and therefore it’s hard to not live in the past. Additionally, now he thinks about himself dying and how people would react. Since he never got closure from Allie, he talks to Allie and believes that Allie is right there with him. “Every time I came to the end of a block and stepped off the goddam curb, I had this feeling that I’d never get to the other side of the street… Then I started doing something else.

Every time I’d get to the end of a block I’d make believe I was talking to my brother Allie. I’d say to him, ‘Allie, don’t let me disappear. Allie, don’t let me disappear. Allie, don’t let me disappear. Please, Allie. ’ And then when I’d reach the other side of the street without disappearing, I’d thank him. ” (Salinger 198) This shows us how much his desire to talk to Allie keeps increasing and that he just doesn’t want to let go of Allie. In addition, it proves that not saying goodbye to Allie makes him live in the past.

Throughout the novel, Holden finds difficulty with successfully communicating with others because of his lack of communication which makes conversations hard for him. Holden prefers to not communicate unless he is forced to. This is seen when Spencer asks if he has talked to his parents yet. “‘Have you yourself communicated with them? ’ ‘No, sir, I haven’t communicated with them, because I’ll probably see them Wednesday night when I get home. ” (Salinger 9) This shows that he is going to wait until he is forced to communicate with his parents. He won’t take action himself and speak with them right away.

Additionally, Holden comes up with crazy ideas to be able to communicate with somebody. “I started toying with the idea, while I kept standing there, of giving old Jane a buzz–I mean calling her long distance at B. M. , where she went, instead of calling up her mother to find out when she was coming home. You weren’t supposed to call students up late at night, but I had it all figured out. I was going to tell whoever answered the phone that I was her uncle. I was going to say her aunt had just got killed in a car accident and I had to speak to her immediately. It would’ve worked, too.

The only reason I didn’t do it was because I wasn’t in the mood. If you’re not in the mood, you can’t do that stuff right. ” (Salinger 63) This shows Holden’s immaturity with communication because he says that he has to be in the mood to communicate with people sometimes. If he was mature, he would be able to hold a conversation at any time. Furthermore, since Holden doesn’t have much experience in communication, he sometimes says things at the wrong time. “‘How’s your sex life? ’ I asked him. He hated you to ask him stuff like that. ‘Relax,’ he said. ‘Just sit back and relax, for Chrissake. (Salinger 144) This shows how Holden’s lack of communication with others affects him when he does choose to communicate. He starts a conversation with a very personal question, which shows us that he doesn’t know how to hold a simple small talk conversation. In conclusion, The Catcher in the Rye has many themes which can all be supported. However, in my opinion the three main themes are loss of innocence, dealing with death and lack of communication. All three themes explain to us why Holden’s life is full of loneliness, disappointment, and phoniness. What do you think are the three main themes?

Thematic essay on catcher in the rye

Throughout the novel The Catcher in the Rye, the reader is presented with various symbols. These symbols are made evident by Holden’s constant repetition of their importance through his saying and experiences. Some important symbols that J. D. Salinger presents in his novel The Catcher in the Rye are his younger brother Allie’s baseball glove, the duck pond in central park, and the Museum of Natural History. These symbols are a large part in the novel. The symbols are important because the symbolism is directed related to the major themes of the novel.

The first major symbol is Holden’s younger brother’s baseball glove. His brother’s glove was very important to Holden, especially since Holden cared for his little brother so much. In addition, the baseball glove is important because it symbolizes Holden’s little brother Allie and how much he cared for him. For instance, Holden remembers the incidents from his past involving Allie, like his attitude, and the time when he wrote the composition about Allie’s baseball glove.

Holden also remembers the time he broke his hand after punching all of the windows after Allie died he said, “I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it”. In addition, Holden finds his younger brother to be one of the few people who were not phony in a world of phonies. The glove was also important because the glove represented the innocence and childhood that Holden constantly strived to find throughout his journey. To Holden Allie is the purity that Holden is looking because he never grew up and lost his innocence.

Holden even admits that he admired Allie more the Jesus and at one point he prayed to Allie. When Allie died, it started turbulence in Holden’s life and the baseball glove is one of the few things that gave him peace of mind. The second major symbol in the novel is the duck pond in Central Park. The duck pond is significant because during the winter when the water froze it caused Holden to inquire about the whereabouts of the ducks, which symbolizes Holden’s fear of the future and the unknown.

For instance, he says, “You know those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South? That little lake? By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over? Do you happen to know, by any chance? ” As he inquires, the answers he receives range from as farfetched answers as the idea that the ducks still remain there under the ice, just as the fish do, to uncaring answers such as a simple “What’re ya tryna do, bud? Kid me? ” However, no madder how many times he asked he never found a satisfactory answer.

The duck pond is also important because it reminds Holden of him self. For instance, all the mistakes he made like he was kicked out of numerous schools, he lacks satisfactory grades, his parents are angry with him, and he spends his days wandering through New York City doing what ever he pleased and he does not know where he will go which is reflecting his question about the ducks from the pond and where they go during the winter. The third and final major symbol in the novel is the Museum of Natural History.

The Museum of Natural History is important because it symbolizes Holden’s fear of change. For instance, Holden says that he likes the glass cases that the museum officials place all of their exhibits in because he wishes that he could place parts of his life in glass cases so they would not change over time. In addition, another reason why he cared for the museum so much is when he was a child he enjoyed going to the museum because nothing would change behind the glass and going to the museum when he was older made everything to be as if it was his childhood again.

However, his fear that the museum might have changed drives him away from the museum, which reflects his fear of change in his life and how he tries to run away from that too. So therefore in conclusion, The Catcher in the Rye has several symbols that are important because the symbolism is directed related to the major themes of the novel. One major symbol is Holden’s little brother’s baseball glove which symbolizes Holden’s younger brother and Holden’s love for his little brother.

The second major symbol is the duck pond in Central Park because it symbolizes his fear of the future and the unknown. The third major symbol in this novel is the Museum of Natural History which symbolizes Holden’s fear of change. These symbols illustrate the different themes that are trying to be shown and by using Holden’s experiences and sayings, the themes are made recognizable.