Catcher In The Rye Deconstructionist Analysis

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In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger the main character, Holden Caufield, struggles with many problems which, after being deconstructed, all centralize around a feeling of fear. These problems include his insecurities, his loneliness, and his fear of the adult world and growing up. Holden’s actions and feelings throughout the book can be further understood by being analyzed using a deconstructionist criticism.
A deconstructionist criticism uses an investigative look at details found in a work of literature. By using this criticism the reader can further understand the meaning behind vague statements made in a work of literature. This criticism deconstructs specific parts of a book to help the reader better understand the message being
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Many of the things that he says lead to this conclusion. For instance, Holden’s obsession with the ducks is a good symbol of his loneliness. When Holden is in the taxi and is talking to the driver he says, "You know those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South? That little lake? By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when its gets all frozen over? Do you happen to know, by any chance?" (Chapter 9). While this seems like an innocent enough of a question asked by a child, taking a deconstructionist critique on it seems to tell another story. This analysis of his statement tells that Holden isn’t just asking “Where do the ducks go?”,but he is really asking “Where will I go?”. It’s getting colder outside and Holden doesn’t feel like it’s a good idea for him to go home at the moment given all the trouble he’s caused with being kicked out of school. So he wanders around the city wondering where he will go. This statement can also be taken as him wondering where he belongs. He didn’t belong at all of the other schools he got kicked out of, he didn’t belong at Pencey, and he doesn’t feel like he belongs at his own home. He begins to wonder if he belongs anywhere and if there is a place for him in the world then where would it be. At this point in the novel Holden seems to feel like he deserves to be lonely and he often isolates himself. He begins to think and his thinking sends him to the Natural History Museum, …show more content…
He tries to protect and shield those around him from having to endure such a terrible life of adulthood. One key point in the novel is Holden’s reference to the poem “Comin’ Thro’ The Rye.” This poem is about sex and doesn’t show any sign of innocence. However, Holden misquotes the poem and gives it a whole new meaning of innocence. Holden replaces the words to mean that he needs to be a catcher in the rye. Someone who catches the kids before they fall off of the cliff to adulthood. He says that if they aren’t paying attention they could accident fall off of the cliff so it’s his job to protect them and to catch them before they fall. Holden then says that he could do it all day and he could be the catcher in the rye(Salinger 173). This is just one example of Holden wanting to protect the innocence of those around him. He wants to be the protector of innocence because he doesn’t think the adult world is safe. The importance in this is that he is at the age where he himself should be transitioning into the adult world but he is scared. He doesn’t know what to

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