Emotional Damage, Hidden Truths, And Accepting Responsibility In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye

2665 words - 11 pages

Emotional Damage, Hidden Truths, and Accepting Responsibility in
J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye
When one finds themselves in a reader’s position, they search for things in the novel that they can relate to. J. D. Salinger wrote a story that contained countless topics that people, past, present and future, can relate to in several ways. The novel follows the story of a troubled boy named Holden who leaves school due to his poor academic performance, an altercation with his roommate, and complications with his emotions due to the traumatic loss of his brother. He quickly understands how his narrow view of the world will lead him into trouble when he finds himself alone. The reader accompanies Holden through his stressful experiences over a period of three days through which we learn of his pain-filled past and negative outlook on the future. Some of the barriers Holden came upon during the time period of the novel are themes of everyday life. In The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger intends to grab his audience’s attention with the story of a young teen named Holden Caulfield who must face emotional damage, hidden truths, and accepting responsibility
Holden’s inabilities to sustain a normal life, according to the standards of people in modern times, led to him contemplate his life and the emotional damage he suffered from. His parents were preoccupied with their lifestyle and keeping up with appearances to really teach him good values. Due to the complex childhood that he experienced Holden found himself unable to connect to anyone other than his brother Allie, who suddenly passes during his childhood. After Allie dies Holden goes through a period of psychological dysfunction where he loses sense of not only his life, but his surrounding environment. Holden’s emotional damage stems from an absence of family unity, the loss of his brother, and a battle to gain his sanity.
As previously stated, family unity was heavily inconsistent throughout Holden’s childhood. It is as if Holden used his family’s dysfunction as a crutch to deem his behavior acceptable. Holden’s insecurities began with his parents and their fear to show who and what they really were, which influenced him to do the same (Salinger 1). After his brother died, Holden’s parents chose to ship him to school after school and had little contact with him. His parents did not even know he had been kicked out of school. Holden knew his parents would be highly upset that he had been kicked out of school, so he hesitated going home until they had calmed down from the letter (Salinger 28). This lack of family values and sense of disconnect, among other things, had a great impact on Holden’s emotional status.
The loss of a loved one isn’t a rare occasion in our society. As we grow and mature, situations and life-changing experiences slowly break down our happy memories until only fragments remain. Salinger discusses heavily on this subject in The Catcher in the Rye. Research states that “it...

Find Another Essay On Emotional Damage, Hidden Truths, and Accepting Responsibility in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye

J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye

2189 words - 9 pages Untitled Catcher in the Rye: the Naivety of Childhood Summary: Discusses J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye." Describes main character Holden Caulfield's fixation on childhood. Details how he struggles through teenage life because he cannot accept the responsibilities that come with growing up. In the novel, "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D Salinger, the main character, Holden, is a teenager who

"Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger.

1294 words - 5 pages the rules; what can he do but blindly play the game in the rye field, right beside his cliff of sanity.Work Cited1. Gwynn, Frederick L., Joseph L. Blotner. "The Catcher in the Rye" The Fiction of J.D. Salinger. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 19582. Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1951

Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger

597 words - 2 pages Holden Caulfield, the main character of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, strives to protect children from the world, and maintain their innocence. Being on the verge of becoming an adult, Holden has lost his own innocence when he learned about the darker side of the world that children are normally shielded from. After realizing how much better the world seemed when he was little, Holden tries to preserve this outlook in younger children

"Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger.

729 words - 3 pages In these latter chapters of the book Holden carries himself further and further towards his impending breakdown, but I think begins to realize what he is doing to those around him. I found these chapters really quite sad and depressing.Holden's breakdown reaches its climax in Chapter 25. As the chapter begins, Holden feels surrounded on all sides by ugliness and phoniness?the profanity on the walls, the vulgar Christmas-tree delivery men, the

Holden's Character Analysis and reasons for his emotional breakdown in the book,"Catcher in the rye" by J.D. Salinger.

1385 words - 6 pages In Salinger's novel "The Catcher in the Rye", Holden, the novel's protagonist, is a character that is growing from youth to maturity. Throughout the novel, Holden resists the process of maturity itself by admiring children and criticizing the adults' way of thinking and behaving. Holden creates his own theory that adulthood is a world of superficiality and phoniness, while childhood is a world of honesty and innocence. In fact, "phoniness

Overcoming Trauma in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye

711 words - 3 pages Overcoming Trauma in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden is in a rest home, where he speaks about his past and discusses his thoughts and feelings of his memories. Holden tells about his life including his past experiences at many different private schools, most recently Pensey Prep, his friends, and his late brother Allie which led to Holden’s own mental destruction. I believe that

Depression in The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

1367 words - 5 pages an everyday normal life. The “Catcher in the Rye” written by J.D Salinger, narrates on the main character Holden Caulfield, a hostile and negative person, who suffers from severe depression. Teenage years are, without argument, the most confusing and difficult years of a person’s life as they prepare to go into adulthood. A wave of anxiety filled teenage year’s leads to an anxiety filled adulthood, following with a variety of prescription

Holden in The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

1183 words - 5 pages In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, the protagonist, a 16-year-old boy named Holden Caulfield who lives in the 1940s, struggles to concur with the views of his society. After getting kicked out of boarding school once again, Holden runs away to New York. He decides to have an adventure of his own, instead of returning home. Holden's experiences in New York lead to further disruptions in his life, which eventually cause him to be put in

Holden's Depression in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye

1545 words - 6 pages Everybody feels depressed at some time or another in their lives.  However, it becomes a problem when depression is so much a part of a person's life that he or she can no longer experience happiness.  This happens to the young boy, Holden Caulfield in J.D Salinger's novel, The Catcher in the Rye.  Mr. Antolini accurately views the cause of Holden's depression as his lack of personal motivation, his inability to self-reflect and his

Analysis of The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

678 words - 3 pages In J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield struggles to avoid "falling down" into the corrupt adult world. Holden views adulthood as a dishonest world while children are blameless and sincere. Corrupted with this mindset, he wants to act as the "catcher in the rye", to "catch" innocent children before they "fall" down the path of adulthood. In Holden's attempt to do so, he realizes that everyone must eventually take the "fall

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

610 words - 2 pages Most teens that are growing up today often wonder about the many complexities of life, and what lies ahead of them. Many of them fear the future and their insecurities. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, profoundly presents the various themes and ideas touching upon prevalent aspects of a typical teenager’s life. As a teen myself, I can relate very well with the protagonist in this story, Holden Caulfield. In this classic, Holden

Similar Essays

J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye

909 words - 4 pages J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye "There’s far more to the censorship issue than a ban on sex and four-letter words. I sometimes think that those of us who need to be the most clearheaded about these matters are planting the very trees that obscure our view of the forest," says Dorothy Briley. According to Briley, a vast amount more is needed than simply vulgar language and suggestive material to censor a novel. But this is the very

The Catcher In The Rye: J.D. Salinger

1909 words - 8 pages J.D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye depicts a short span in the life of a sixteen-year-old boy who has a lot to say about others yet recognizes little about himself, in the beginning of the book. Holden Caulfield is not your typical bildungsroman protagonist. From open to close, the story only details a few days of life. This novel gives a new twist to the typical

J.D Salinger's "The Catcher In The Rye"

1227 words - 5 pages "The Catcher in The Rye" is a rather amusing and fascinating book, and although at first glance Holden resembles the over-sensitive and self-conscious teen that struggles to live up to his responsibilities as "growing-to-manhood", the book is written in such a way that one can only feel pity for Holden. He has been through a lot in his age; the death of his brother, his older brother now a writer and don't see each other as much, and also the

"Catcher In The Rye" By J.D. Salinger.

973 words - 4 pages schools, one would think that Holden would become more devoted to improving his future life, but by the quote "Oh I feel some concern for my future, all right. Sure. Sure I do. But not too much, I guess. Not too much, I guess." (Catcher In The Rye, J.D. Salinger, Little, Brown and Company Books, 1945) it is easily understood that Holden does not realize what he is doing to his future.In this story, Holden Caulfield is the protagonist and narrator