Catcher in the Rye by J
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger represents more than just a story; it represents life changing events which the protagonist, Holden, faces during his childhood. The catcher in the Rye is a story about a boy battling with adolescence by rebelling against the adult world. A large number of critics believe that Catcher in the Rye, as a novel has tried to portray sexuality and angst among the adolescences in a liberal manner. Owing to the high percentage of sexual content, the novel was initially published only for adults. However, the novel is critically acknowledged worldwide for its various themes discussed and issues highlighted in the poem. A detailed analysis of the book goes on to show that Salinger had several other issues in mind which he wanted to highlight through this book apart from tastelessly discussing sexuality ("Wikipedia"). Some of the most remarkable themes covered in the book include alienation, metamorphic process of growing up, hypocrisy in the society, solitude and most importantly, sexuality and intimacy in romantic relationships ("Answers.com"). Holden, the protagonist, believes that all adults are phonies, and that he can distinguish between the phony, and the true, and he depends on alienation to avoid adults, and to protect himself from the materialistic world.
An extremely important theme of the novel is phoniness. Holden makes use of this term again and again in the entire novel in order to describe the pretension and high levels of hypocrisy which he comes across in his day to day life. In one of the most crucial chapters of the novel, chapter 22, Holden finally lays down his viewpoint about the society. He tells of how an old man seemed like a phony to him. He says, "You
should've seen this one old guy that was about fifty. What he did was, he came in our room and knocked on the door and asked us if we'd mind if he used the bathroom. The bathroom was at the end of the corridor-I don't know why the hell he asked us. You know what he said? He said he wanted to see if his initials were still in one of the can doors. What he did, he carved his goddam stupid sad old initials in one of the can doors about ninety years ago, and he wanted to see if they were still there. So my roommate and I walked him down to the bathroom and all, and we had to stand there while he looked for his initials in all the can doors. He kept talking to us the whole time, telling us how when he was at Pencey they were the happiest days of his life, and giving us a lot of advice for the future and all. Boy, did he depress me! I don't mean he was a bad guy-he wasn't. But you don't have to be a bad guy to depress somebody-you can be a good guy and do it. All you have to do to depress somebody is given them a lot of phony advice while you're looking for your initials in some can door-that's all you have to do (Salinger,...