How To Save A Life Essay

961 words - 4 pages

The Catcher in the Rye6. Real World ConnectionsThroughout my reading of The Catcher in the Rye, I've felt that Holden represents the living embodiment of teenage angst, as his views of the world begin to represent one of cynicism in a blasé manner. Holden is able to identify with modern day teenagers as he goes through the timeless struggles of the American teenager, such as love, loneliness, and the search for one's identity. J.D. Salinger is able to effectively convey these thoughts throughout the novel by using the smallest things in the world from ducks to hunting hats as metaphors for the troubles faced. However, it is noted that Holden views the world differently than his peers do. Holden tries to transcend the world of "phonies" he lives in, yet ultimately fails, as there is much evidence to suggest that even he is a phony.The Catcher in the Rye represents Salinger's view of the world using Holden as a proxy to make his points. Throughout the novel, Holden constantly notes people who are "phonies". Holden's definition of a phony is difficult to explain; his definition of phony includes everything a person does that isn't truly sincere. In reality, the "phonies" of the world are those people who embrace the true nature of the world-- that is, embracing what is expected of them, instead of being who they truly are, and in a sense, Holden's right, for people lose a sense of probity while growing up. In order to survive and be successful in this world one must conform to society's ordinance. Nearly everyone Holden encounters he categorizes as a "phony", and he criticizes them for being like that. While Holden has a strong dislike for the phonies of the world, he has a strong admiration for those who stick true to their convictions. When Holden is asked by his younger sister Phoebe what he liked (169), Holden's first thought was of a former roommate, James Castle, who called a peer conceited and when beaten by his peer and his gang, "…instead of taking back what he said, he jumped out the window." Holden admires him because James was no phony. He retained his conviction even in death. Salinger also uses someone young like Holden as a protagonist to be able to express an honest opinion of the world through the naïve eyes of an adolescent. Salinger notes that the society we live in isn't perfect, and is full of challenges to be overcome by the individuals of the world. Holden's inability to cope with his shortcomings is one of the causes that would eventually lead him to his downfall predicted by Mr. Antolini. (187). Comment by Kevin Cao: A or the?Salinger made a successful attempt at reproducing a piece of fiction told from a teenager's point...

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