Catcher in the Rye Essay

835 Words 4 Pages
J.D Salinger’s fictional novel ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ explores ideas of coming of age and challenging society’s morals through the life of Holden Caulfield, the young protagonist of the novel. The term ‘coming of age’ can be defined as when someone reaches an important stage in development and is accepted by a large number of people. The word ‘morals’ is concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction of right and wrong. Themes such as innocence, isolation and youth reside in the novel, the audience is made aware of Caulfield’s view on children’s innocence, the isolation he feels and how he perceives adults as ‘phony’.

Holden Caulfield is a 17 year old adolescent boy that becomes infatuated with protecting
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“The first thing I did when I got off at Penn Station, I went into this phone booth. I felt like giving somebody a buzz, but as soon as I was inside, I couldn't think of anybody to call up. So I ended up not calling anybody. I came out of the booth, after about twenty minutes or so.” The short sentence structure emphasises Caulfield’s hesitation of trying to contact someone but not being able to commit to it, this then positions the reader to feel sorrow for the isolation that Caulfield feels. Caulfield’s hesitation to immerse himself in a connection with another person, explores the idea that whilst Caulfield was progressing with his coming of age, this isolation is a step back for the development of himself. Salinger captures an adolescences bias perception of adults being phony and that they only think of themselves. Salinger explores the perspective of children being a complete world apart from the adults through Caulfield. ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ examines the theme of youth in conjunction with the process of becoming an adult. Caulfield has an idealized perception of what children are like, he has a fantasy of what children are like, and he hastily makes assumptions of adults, predominately on how they treat children. “There was a lady sitting next to me that cried all through the goddam picture. The phonier it got, the more she cried. You'd have thought she did it

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