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Carther in the rye - Essay Example

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D Salinger’s The Cartcher in the rye is a controversial novel initially published for adults. However, its thematic concerns that touch on youthful life struggles have made it an ideal book for high school students. This paper analyzes the adolescent problems that Holden…
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Carther in the rye
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Download file to see previous pages per therefore addresses these age-related psychological states of Holden, how these states alienate him from the society, thereby slowing his psychological development.
To begin with, Holden believes that the protection of innocence and especially childhood innocence is a virtue that all must uphold. For instance, he thinks of Jane Gallagher as the little girl he used to play checkers with, and not as a growing woman. He loathes the fact that some men make sexual advances towards women, some of whom, like Jane, he feels are supposed to remain pure. At one instance, Holden says, “Most guys at Pencey just talked about having sexual intercourse with girls all the time – like Ackley, for instance – but old Stradlater really did it,” (Bloom, 2007, 7.32). This statement expresses his disgust towards such behaviors. In chapter 22, a conversation between Phoebe and Holden reveals to us what he terms as the purpose of his life, that of being a catcher in the rye. He pictures children playing in a field of rye next to a cliff, and imagines that he would catch them in the event that they slip. This dream shows us that he has affection for childhood. Finally, Holden’s obsession with profanity manifests itself when he sees obscene graffiti in school. While on his way to visiting his friend Phoebe, he sees the words ‘fuck you’ (Bloom, 2007, Cap. 25) inscribed on the wall and tries to erase them. This shows his dislike against anything that may corrupt the mind of the children.
Holden also shows disgust towards what he terms the ‘phoniness’ of the adult world. Holden uses this phrase to describe such aspects as hypocrisy, pretension and shallowness. One of the things that Holden brands as phony is the movies and anything related to them. However, we observe that he watches movies not because he loves them, but due to the lack of an alternative. He also believes that people are phony because they accept middle class values, for instance, he says, “Lawyers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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