This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

J.D. Salinger Is Holden Caulfield Essay

1698 words - 7 pages

Jerome David Salinger is an odd character with a colorful background. He was a young man unable to complete college and obtain a degree, yet he was made very popular due to his writing abilities. “Despite his slim body of work and reclusive lifestyle, ‘Salinger’ was one of the more influential twentieth century American writers.” states, “His landmark novel, Catcher in the Rye, set a new course for literature in post World War II America.”
The Catcher in the Rye told a story of Holden Caulfield and his struggle to find something pure in a world filled with “phonies” (Biography). It is arguable that some of Holden’s experiences could be comparitively autobiographical to Salinger’s real life. Much like J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield is a reserved character, attending Pencey Prep (Salinger, J.D.). Both Holden and Salinger were born and raised in Manhattan, and went to private schools in Pennsylvania. Another seemingly important characteristic between the two is that they were kicked out of numerous schools because of grades.
J.D. Salinger was born on January 1, 1919 in New York City, New York, as the youngest of two children ( Biography). He was the son of Solomon, who ran a successful ham and Kosher cheese import, and his wife Miriam Salinger (Liukkonen). The family lived in Manhattan, New York on Park Avenue which was what Liukkonen calls, “The fashionable apartment district” much like his character, Holden Caulfield. Salinger was born into a mixed family, where his father was of Jewish, and his mother was Scotch-Irish (Notable Biographies). His parents marriage was frowned upon because his mother was non-Jewish, so his mother learned to hide her religion from everyone including Salinger. For most of Salinger’s childhood he believed both his parents to be Jewish, but following his bar mitzvah he found out his mother was Catholic. Salinger was far from thrilled to find out he was lied to for most of his life (Biography). The Catcher in the Rye tells how Holden has mixed feelings about Catholics. He states that they are always trying to figure out if he is Catholic, and he believes they would like him more if he were (Salinger, J.D., 146). While traveling New York, Holden runs into some Catholic nuns, and “accidentally” blows cigarette smoke in there face when he donates money to their church (Salinger, J.D., 144). This is a sure sign that gives mixed signals saying he likes nuns, but is still unsure what he thinks of Catholics.
Surprisingly, Salinger was not fond of any school or formal education, and only maintained mediocre grades (Notable Biographies). He exemplified this attitude through his writing, there were signs of impatience with formal education system throughout his stories (Notable Biographies). He attended public schools near his home in Manhattan, and later attended prep schools in New York’s Upper West Side. He attended a school by the name of, McBurney School, where Salinger...

Find Another Essay On J.D. Salinger is Holden Caulfield

The Contemporary North American Teenager - Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger)

562 words - 2 pages In J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, the behaviour and attitudes displayed by Holden Caulfield, the novel's protagonist, do much to bolster an unflattering stereotype of the contemporary North American teenager. What is the stereotype of the contemporary North American teenager? Is it someone who follows the rules and doesn't go against authority or is it someone who is trying to find their place in the world? They have poor

J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, Aging Gracelessly

1919 words - 8 pages -old protagonist Holden Caulfield is dismissed as the novel begins, and I was an unhappy camper; what I had heard about "The Catcher in the Rye" surely convinced me that Caulfield was a kindred spirit. By then "The Catcher in the Rye" was already well on the way to the status it has long enjoyed as an essential document of American adolescence -- the novel that every high school English teacher reflexively puts on every summer reading list

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

Catcher In The Rye - J.D. Salinger The Mysterious Holden

606 words - 2 pages something doesn't seem right. One such example of this behavior is when he is with Sunny, the prostitute; he comments "I don't feel very much like myself tonight. I've had a rough night. Honest to God I'll pay you and all, but do you mind very much if we don't do it? Do you mind very much?"(Salinger 96). It is as if he has an ideal way of doing things, but one small change or surprise causes Holden to feel uncomfortable or want to leave. When he

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

1363 words - 5 pages In the book of J.D Salinger The Catcher in the Rye The main character Holden Caulfield does not want to lose his innocence and doesn’t want to go into adulthood. Holden likes to see everything where there were and never change. For example “The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and the Eskimo would still be just

Holden´s Struggles in J.D. Salinger´s A Catcher in the Rye

815 words - 4 pages A person who is able to live life with many struggles such as dropping out of school and dealing with a family member’s death can really continue pursuing their lifestyle in the future. In The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger, it becomes evident that Holden has difficulty accepting himself and others as he constantly defines people as "phony". Before we can understand why Holden leaves on his journey at all, we must understand his struggle

How Holden Caulfield, the protagonist in J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" subconcioulsy protects the innocence of childhood

858 words - 3 pages In J. D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, the protagonist, spends several days wandering around New York City all alone. During this time, he learns many things about himself. He seems to have some sort of mental problem, but this problem fortunately begins to be less serious by the end of the story. But more interesting than the things he knows about himself are the things he has yet to discover about himself. Holden

What's wrong with Holden Caufield?He has ODD,diagnoses of main character from Catcher in th Rye,by J.D Salinger

1493 words - 6 pages brother named Allie but he died when Holden was 13 fromleukemia(Salinger,39).This tragic event was hard for Holden because they were close and he dealt with itin an unpleasant way. Holden has many acquaintances. These include Ackley who is theannoying upperclassman at Pencey Prep and Luce who Holden knew from WhootonSchool and had fabulous sex talks with. Holden also has a friend named Sally who hehelped trim her Christmas tree. When Holden was

The essay "Values Vanish Into Thin Air" is based on the book "The Catcher In The Rye"(J.D. Salinger) and analyzes how Holden Caulfield criticizes the modern society in different ways

786 words - 3 pages Holden to findreal friends and depresses him. Only Phoebe really understands Holden, because he cancommunicate with her without being superficial. However, whenever he really wants todiscuss his problems with anyone, they turn away from him. For instance, when he asks thetaxi driver about the ducks in the Central Park, Horwitz tells him it is "a stupid thing"(pg.82;6) to ask. The meeting with Sally is another typical example. Sally does not

Comparison between J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield and Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn

1165 words - 5 pages The purpose of an automobile is to transport an individual to a desired place. The same holds true for a horse and carriage. However far-fetched it may seem, this is a perfect analogy for the comparison of Huck and Holden. Huck would represent the horse and carriage and Holden would represent the automobile. They both serve the same purpose (transportation), yet in different time periods. Huck and Holden go through the same basic experiences and

The Catcher in the Rye, By J.D. Salinger Holden "Trapped in Adolescence"

1187 words - 5 pages Trapped in AdolescenceIn James Bryan's essay, "The Psychological Structure of the Catcher in the Rye," he says, "Holden will forever be trapped in a state of adolescence due to the trauma of his brother's death." I agree with this statement and I think that James Bryan is absolutely right. Holden still thinks about his brother a lot because he loved him so much. Allie died on June 18, 1946, when Holden was about thirteen.For example, at the

Similar Essays

Holden Caufield + J.D. Salinger Essay

632 words - 3 pages Jordan Sakni Ms. AntonucciEnglish 12/2/06Holden Caulfield and J.D. Salinger: One in the Same.The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, is home to the protagonist Holden Caulfield. There is no coincidence that he holds a striking resemblance to the author of the novel himself. Both Salinger and Holden have many aspects of their life in common.Holden's story in The Catcher in the Rye begins with Holden at his school, Pencey Preparatory, which is a

Holden Caulfield In The Catcher In The Rye, By J.D. Salinger

1390 words - 6 pages The novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” revolves around the protagonist Holden Caulfield as the story is told from his perspective. J.D. Salinger constructed Holden Caulfield as a cynical person who cannot accept to grow up. Throughout “The Catcher in the Rye,” J.D. Salinger uses symbolism to reveal and reinforce critical aspects of the protagonist Holden Caulfield. Three important aspects Holden acquired through Salinger’s use of symbolism are: his

Holden Caulfield Of The Catcher In The Rye, By J.D. Salinger

2381 words - 10 pages pessimistic outlook on his present environment. When a Holden loses confidence in him and in the world, he develops a hopeless view of his and the world’s future. J. D. Salinger depicts the chaotic external and internal conflicts that plague the protagonist Holden Caulfield in his The Catcher in the Rye. An important external conflict is seen in Holden’s relationship with his parents. According to Holden his parents are neither close nor personal

Diagnosis Of Holden Caulfield In A Catcher In The Rye By J.D. Salinger

653 words - 3 pages The period of adolescence is one of growth. There will be necessary physiological, sexual, and mental changes in a person during this period, therefore making it one of the most important sections of life. If an error is found during the growth of an adolescent, it must be corrected. Holden Caulfield, is an erred adolescent, so he must be fixed. This paper will present a diagnosis for Holden, provide evidence for this claim, provide a