Catcher In The Rye Argumentative Essay

1385 Words 6 Pages
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger has always been controversial. The novel brought the feelings of a new generation and exposed it to the rest of the world. The book, a confessional by protagonist Holden Caulfield, takes the readers through his mental breakdown, as he flunks out of school for the fourth time, as well as the continued stress of his brother Allie’s death three years prior. Readers can observe Holden’s thoughts, and see how he changes over the course of three days as he breaks his limits. The Catcher in the Rye takes place in the late 1940s, right after the end of World War II. The war had profound effects on the world around it, and Holden takes notice, finding many things wrong with the new world around him. As the novel …show more content…
However, the fact of the matter was that the 1950s was a time when American culture changed infinitely. Despite this, Holden seems doomed to this static lifestyle due to his worldviews, and by extension, the reader is doomed as well. According to Baumbach, “Salinger’s idealistic heroes are doomed either to suicide (Seymour), or insanity (Holden, Sergeant X)...” (Baumbach 134), all of Salinger’s ‘heroes’ are forced to be in a static state after their stories are done, so they may not grow to see another viewpoint of the world, and the characters they interacted with. An example is Sally, a friend of Holden’s, and an eventual date of his. When he takes her on the date, Holden only sees her for face value, her attractive good looks, and ignores every other aspect of her except for the ones he does not like. If the reader looks outside of Holden’s lens, Sally is a normal girl, who may be shallower than usual-but most teenagers are. “Holden!’ She said. ‘It’s marvelous to see you! It’s been ages’ She had one of these very loud, embarrassing voices when you meet her somewhere.” (124) Her voice may seem obnoxious to Holden, but he himself has issues with volume control, when he is constantly told by Sally that he is yelling, but ignores her anyways, and it is a problem many teenagers share. Sally is simply being polite to Holden, and he is taking it in a negative way. The same can be said for Stradlater to an extent. One problem of Holden’s is his ability to let his judgments affect his perception. Stradlater treats Holden with respect until Holden consistently insults him, and logically, becomes upset. Holden seems to be the one to agitate the antagonists in his story. He does not pay Sunny, the prostitute he hired to not have sex with (albeit, it was not exactly his fault), leading to Maurice attacking him. He disrespects Carl Luce an elder he went to for guidance, and one of

Related Documents