The Importance Of Individuality In The Catcher In The Rye

2017 Words 9 Pages
There has never been a day in this world where individuality and identity came from the acceptance of belonging. Society deems the idea that it is wellfully astonishing for someone to uphold a different “character” than everyone else. However, society does not guarantee that that “someone” would be accepted considering their difference. One specific fictional society backs up these beliefs. This fictional society is the community that takes place in The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. J.D. Salinger spawns this relatable “world” with the addition of Holden Caulfield- the teenage main character and overall point of view of the story. Holden Caulfield- with a depressing outlook on life- outrightly illustrates a loathing attitude towards …show more content…
Salinger decides to use a sense of dark and informal terminology to show that societal acceptance is inevitable and that Holden Caulfield rejects his environment. Holden begins to talk about his being kicked out of Pencey Prep because he made different decisions that the school did not want him to make. “... They kicked me out… I was flunking four subjects and not applying myself… They gave me frequent warning to start applying myself…But I didn’t do it…” (4). This seemingly proves how many different places in society- such as schools- look to “welcome” those who follow the rules and set themselves up to reach the potential that they want them to reach. Salinger decides to incorporate Pencey Prep in a ways to illustrate a “phony” society that depends on uniformity and similarity. With the use of the words and phrases “kicked out”, “flunking” and “applying” - a negative denotation is pictured. Salinger puts together “kicked out” and”flunking” to show how Holden understands that situation that he is in and the idea that he has a different mentality that Pencey does not agree with. Holden says “I didn’t do it” to tell the reader that he did not want to be apart of the “clear- minded” student body. He did not want to be the student the school wanted him to be. Furthermore, Holden Caulfield thinks back to the time where (a fellow student) Ossenburger made a speech and Edgar Marsalla (a current student) took to doing something that …show more content…
Salinger uses disheartened wordage, closeted yet illustrative language and tones full of gloom to bring to life the fact that society only honors those that belong and that Holden Caulfield loathes that specific fact. With the vast amount of rhetorical strategies, Salinger brings up the notions that fitting in is completely unavoidable, identity will always get lost and the rules of acceptance sometimes aren’t done on purpose. A deeper meaning of Holden’s attitude is painted and one grasps the understanding that Holden wants to be his own individual- he doesn’t want to belong. Modern society today praises the idea that someone is unique. However, modern society today does not accept those who are unique because they feel as though it is “unnatural” and sometimes

Related Documents