Analysis Of Holden Caulfield 's ' The Catcher Rye ' Essay

1031 Words Oct 14th, 2014 5 Pages
Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Throughout J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, main character and narrator Holden Caulfield displays a deep desire for someone to simply hear him out. In his eye, the world is simply a bunch of “phonies” who are, for lack of better words, too self-involved and egocentric to listen to anybody. He may be the only person to ever pay for a prostitute with the mere purpose of having someone to talk to. In his effort to understand the real world and the process of growing up however, it appears that Holden sinks deeper and deeper into his fear of change and a longing to live in childhood. Holden Caulfield’s idolization of innocence is exemplified through the ducks in the lagoon, the Museum of Natural History, and his red hunting cap. A rare, more youthful side of Holden is conveyed whenever he thinks about the ducks in the Central Park lagoon. The reason he is so caught up with them is because they are symbolic of himself. Constantly he questions random strangers, such as cab drivers, if they “happen to know where they go, the ducks, when [the lagoon] gets all frozen over” (Salinger 60). He believes that if he can understand the ducks and their migration patterns, he will more confidently and contently be able to resonate with himself that life will turn out okay, and so will he. Having experienced death first hand, Holden finds extreme comfort in knowing that no matter how harsh of a…

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