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

1248 Words Mar 7th, 2016 5 Pages
The Catcher in the Rye is a novel written by J.D. Salinger in 1951. It is essentially an indictment and is written in a stream of consciousness in order to obtain empathy from the readers. It is the story of Holden Caulfield, a cynical teenager, who quickly becomes a symbol for rebellion due to his ability to reveal the flaws in our society. Although he is an everyman character, the emphasis of the novel is on the society we live in and the importance of understanding, loving, and educating adolescents in order to prevent their rebellion. The novel begins with Holden in a psychiatric home. Holden is somewhat of an outsider and has built a wall to protect him from the complexities of life. He constantly wears his red hunting hat, which symbolizes his uniqueness and individuality. His story begins on Saturday at Pencey prep school. This military type school is known for “moulding boys into splendid, clear thinking young men.” (p. 2) It is a place where he constantly feels surrounded by phonies and he cannot stand the status quo. Additionally, he is being expelled because he failed four of his classes. When he visits his history teacher to say goodbye, he gets lectured for his poor academic performance. He gets told, “Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules.” (p. 8) In life, we have laws that we must respect. In a game, we have rules so we do not cheat. However, Holden rejects the rules imposed by society because he does not fit in. He…

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