Theme/Summary of The Catcher In the Rye
The theme of this book is the struggle of growing up because this is what Holden was dealing with throughout the book. The Catcher In the Rye is about a 17 year old named Holden Caulfield who is telling the story while in a mental hospital. In the beginning of the book, Holden starts off talking about his older brother D.B. and a little bit about parents which he cares about but at the same time he doesn’t. Holden hates his brother D.B. so much he even calls him a money whore because D.B made a book called The Secret Goldfish That Got Famous and he's now in Hollywood. Later in chapter one Holden talks about his departure from Pencey Prep which was a school he attended. He failed four of his subjects which got him expelled from the school. In chapter 16, Holden had a dream after seeing the poem by Robert Burns called Coming Through the Rye. The dream was about a guardian protecting kids who are playing in a field of rye so they won't fall off the edge when they get close. Throughout the book, Holden describes himself as depressed and useless. He tries to find a purpose in his life but he simply can’t. Holden continuously gets expelled from the schools he goes to because he fails his classed. But in Pencey Prep, he met a teacher that he called “Old Spencer”. Spencer was Holden’s favorite teacher and Spencer did everything he could to make sure Holden didn’t fail his class. Later on in the book, Holden is just roaming around looking for something to do. Holden tries to find a purpose in life but just can’t. He eventually gives up and just goes to his parents house and sees Phoebe, his little sister. She gets really excited but then finds out that he got expelled from another school. Phoebe knows how irresponsible Holden is and how he has trouble growing up. At the end of the book, Holden believes that he finally found a purpose in life, to protect and care for Phoebe. He was depressed for most of the book but Phoebe made him feel really happy again. Holden loves children because they remind him of when he was a kid and how he could be carefree and happy all the time. This is most likely why Holden was very happy to see Phoebe with a big smile on her face.
Holden is the main character and the narrator in the book Catcher In The Rye. Throughout the book, we learn about Holden's family and relationships. He becomes depressed and doesn't know what to do with his life. He is 17 years old and has been expelled from 4 schools. Holden is very judgmental sometimes.
Phoebe is Holden's little sister. She is a extremely intelligent and neat for a 10 year old. She loves Holden but gets upset with him a lot because he doesn't want to grow up.
Mr. Spencer was Holden's history teacher at Pencey Prep. He tries to help Holden so that he doesn't get kicked out of school again. Mr. Spencer is very old. "Old Spencer" was Holden's favorite teacher. He gets a kick (excitement) out of little things.