The Catcher in the Rye Josue peRez

The Catcher in the Rye is the story of Holden Caulfield, starting with his expulsion from Pencey Prep and his return home to New York City. Holdens story isn't full of explosions or murder and crime. What Holden really wants isn't money, power, sex, no, he wants to stop time. He says "The best thing though in that Museum is that everything always stayed right where it was" when thinking of the National History Museum. Holden is scared of adult life, he wants to protect his innocence. He's certainly interested in adult things like sex, but he finds sex in the adult world to be really scary, this is considering at the end of the novel a trusted adult makes a sexual advance on him, and he says that has happened about 20 times since he was a child. Things like these are reasons why he wants to so desperately stop time because he wants to keep himself and the people he cares about away from that world. Of course this doesn't work, he doesn't stop time, he's sixteen and already has grey hair. Holden narrates these negative circumstances very subtly by consistently using a passive voice because he wants to distance himself as much as possible from all his pain, he uses his narrating style as a type of coping mechanism. At the end of the story, Holden is losing hope of ever belonging or finding companionship in the city and decides to leave west and live as a recluse. In present time, as he is narrating his story, he finds himself institutionalized in California near his brother. He will be out soon though as he will be attending a new school in September. He advises the reader not to share their own experiences with others because it will lead to missing those experiences and the people they were shared with.

Theme 1: Innocence

He is scared of becoming and adult, and after having grown 6 inches in the past year and already has grey hair, signs of incoming adulthood. He wants to be a protector of innocence, a catcher in the rye. He is so obsessed with protecting his innocence he can't throw a snowball at a car because " it looked so nice and white ". He constantly tries talking to adults like old teachers, cab drivers, and even prostitutes, because he wants them to tell him adulthood will be okay, but he never asks it directly and sometimes they don't listen to him. " Id just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know its crazy, but thats the only thing id really like to be". We can learn that innocence can be a valuable personality trait. It can help us keep certain morals even as we dive into a new and cruel, vicious, manipulative adult world.

Theme 2: Death

Death is a consistent theme in the novel. Its often implied by the presence of Allies spirit, Holdens younger brother, who's been dead for 3 years. When Holden fears for his own life and thinks he might disappear, he talks to Allie. The thought of Allie in a rainy cemetery surrbe dead people and tombstones haunt Holden. He sees death as mutability of time. He wishes everything could stay the way it is, especially when something he likes occurs. His emphasis on this subject helps us understand in a deeper manner the value of life and what it means to those who have lost friends, family, mentors or just people they knew. Helps us better value our various relationships with others and how me manage them.

Theme 3: Authentic vs Artificial

Holden sees life in general as a conflict between the real and the fake. This is directly connected to his attitude towards children and resistance to the adult world. He likes artists like Estelle Fletcher because she avoids trying to cater the audience and sings with authentic passion. On the other hand, he hates it when adults manipulate things to please and audience. Teaches us the importance of being different. How not following the trend thw world follows, not being fake, how that can positively effect other people and help maintain our cruel society at a more humane level and less degraded.

I really enjoyed Holden. Hsi narrative style is unmistakably unique. His story is not a funny, or scary one, its very real. Its composed of many elements anyone can relate to. Especially teenagers like myself being that Holden was a teenager at the time. This novel helps you understand and value our differences, because Holden has a very unique and different personality with very picky and strange tastes. He's very critical of everything he doesn't like but at the same time incredibly passionate about the things he does like, which I can relate to because thats how I am. Its easy to get caught up in his emotional roller coaster and just sit down and experience life through someone elses eyes and point of view. Its very interesting because of that and many other reasons. This nivel also has many positive lessons which can be learned. I would definitely recommend this book and found this project to very interesting and life educational.

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