Salinger’s Development Of Holden’s Character In

1079 words - 4 pages

The American classic, The Catcher in the Rye, although simply written, had quite sophisticated meanings. Salinger used seemingly inconsequential details of the novel as hidden metaphors to help carry out the theme. The main character and narrator, Holden, has many concealed allegories behind him, when uncovered, create a new and enlightened way of perceiving him and understanding his actions. As the insightful and tragic story comes to an end, the mere details unfold to become primary elements in concluding the theme.We first meet Holden as he sits on a hill, detached from the rest of the school at a football game. This has a big part to do with the theme throughout the novel: Holden's loneliness and seclusion from the rest of the world. On the hill, Holden sets himself "above the rest" and apart from those he thinks he is better than. The "phoniness" of his peers' lives disgust him and he is avoiding their presence. In a way, it seems as though "he is 'Holden' back, not allowing himself to become part of the ugliness he sees in virtually everyone." The name "Holden" depicts his incapability to interact with others because of his disgust and low regard for other's lifestyles. Caulfield, Holden's last name, has a lot to do with the theme of childhood innocence throughout the novel. A "caul" is a part of one of the membranes encasing the fetus, which is sometimes around the head when the child is born. It's obviously some sort of protection, quite possibly from the rest of the world. The caul protects children, just as Holden wishes he could do in saving the innocence in society. The last part of Caulfield, "field", has to do with the title's theme (Downey). The catcher in the rye has to do with a childhood fable in which the catcher catches children from falling off the cliff. Since the rye in the field is so high, the children cannot see over it. This elucidates the novel's metaphoric title, as the children cannot see beyond the boundaries of childhood and out of innocence. "Standing on the precipice that separates the rye field of childhood from the cliff of adulthood, Holden wants to protect childhood innocence from the fall into disillusionment that necessarily accompanies childhood" (Phillips).Holden's preoccupation with childhood and youth innocence has a lot to do with the struggles he's been through. Although Holden vows in the beginning that he won't talk about his adolescence, Salinger lets several of his disturbing occurrences slip through as Holden is reminiscing. "Throughout the novel, it becomes increasingly clear that Allie's death was one of the most traumatic experiences of Holden's life and may play a major role in his current psychological breakdown"”the cynicism with which Holden avoids expressing his feelings may result from Allie's death" (Phillips). Holden reminisces throughout the novel about how much he misses Allie and he even says to Phoebe once that Allie is the only thing that he likes. The only problem is,...

Find Another Essay On Salinger’s Development Of Holden’s Character In

Character Development of Miss Ferenczi in Gryphon by Charles Baxter

1189 words - 5 pages In the short story Gryphon, Charles Baxter creates a far-from-perfect character, the substitute teacher Miss Ferenczi, who lives in a fantasy world without boundaries and tiresome limits. Her arrival has a great influence on the whole rural Five Oaks community. Miss Ferenczi's appearance and behaviors, portrayed through her student's eyes, place her as a symbol of reformation and immerses her students into a rich and fascinating world.Charles

Character Development in Youth Sports Essay

2453 words - 10 pages mastering. Character traits will certainly be developed as one participates in team sports, but to attain positive character traits will require deliberate efforts by parents, adults, teammates and even leaders of the organization itself. Positive character development has been assumed by parents as they sign their children up for belonging to teams in youth sports. Yet, there are examples described by Peter Cary in an article about Fred Engh, a

Character Development in Organizational Contexts

482 words - 2 pages We study and we discuss ethical principles because it serves to strengthen and validate our own inner value system. It is the understanding of ethics that becomes the foundation upon which we can deliberately commit to inviolate principles. It becomes the basis of what we are and what we include in our character. Not only because of ethical value for its own sake, a successful organization needs leaders with both strong and good characteristics

Character Development in Key Exchange

1957 words - 8 pages Kevin Wade’s character, Lisa, in Key Exchange is a photographer who enjoys spending her weekend riding bicycles. She is a girl looking for someone to truly love her the way her father loved her mother. However, Lisa is in a complicated open relationship with Philip, an aspiring novelist. Lisa is having a difficult time with her relationship with Philip because she wants more and Philip just wants to keep things the way they are. The climax of

A Look at Character Development in Schools

1187 words - 5 pages I chose to research the following five websites that all have to do with incorporating Character Development into schools because I am planning on observing this topic in our classroom report.The first website I researched was Character Counts! Their website,, is dedicated to helping schools incorporate their character development framework based on "The Six Pillars of Character Development" which are trustworthiness

Character Development in Brave New World

1335 words - 5 pages In the novel, Brave New World, written by Aldous Huxley, the author uses character development to contrast the two different societies present in the novel.He shows the importance of morality, or an increase in wisdom in the character of humankind. The author contrasts a society full of static and flat characters and another society full of round characters. In order to show the importance of life experiences in changing the character of

Character Development in John Steinbeck's Cannery Row

748 words - 3 pages Character Development in John Steinbeck's Cannery Row Maybe it's more important to be appreciated than to be wealthy. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck (1945) is one of the most unique of all of the Nobel Prize winning novels. Cannery Row is set in a very poor area of California known as Monterey. It is a small port town south of San Francisco. The time era is post Depression and World War II. The novel is about how lower class people with warm

Character Development in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

702 words - 3 pages Jene Weichenthal Character Development Essay The play "Romeo and Juliet", from William Shakespeare is a dramatic love story. The characters in this play have static and dynamic conflicts. Internal conflicts is a conflict where the person has trouble making a decision. External conflict is when a another person, society, or a situation gets in the way of the character. In this essay I will prove that Juliet is a dynamic character. "What

Character Development In Petry's "The Street"

1224 words - 5 pages Three minor characters who were essential in determining Lutie Johnson's fate by the end of Petry's The Street are Pop, Mr. Crosse, and the lawyer. Pop is an essential minor character because of the way he keeps his home and Lutie's home; he creates an environment in which no child can thrive. Mr. Crosse is an essential minor character because of his racist and sexist treatment of Lutie makes her more aware of how society perceives her. The

The Development of Juliet's Character in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

1716 words - 7 pages The Development of Juliet's Character in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet This essay is about Juliet's character and I am going to talk about how her behaviour develops towards Romeo, her Nurse, and on her own respectively. In the prologue we are informed that, 'a pair of star crossed lovers take their life,' [line 6, prologue]. This is to make us feel sympathy towards Romeo and Juliet. We also have to remember

Oppression of the Powerless as a Tool for Character Development in Pedro Páramo

1489 words - 6 pages case, religion is not a friend of the poor; rather it is but a friend of poverty. The most damning example of oppression is seen through the titular character. The priest of Contla says that it is “a shame the land is all in the hands of one man,” that man being Pedro Páramo. His power is both a means to an end, and an end in and of itself. His influence is used to bend others to his will (as was the case with Rentería absolving Miguel), and

Similar Essays

Character Development Of Jack In Lotf

1641 words - 7 pages character development in the early chapters of the book. On page 33, Jack says “There’s pigs,” he said. “There’s food; and bathing water in that little stream along there–and everything. Didn’t anyone find anything else?”, demonstrating that Jack is a responsible person, as he was able to find a source of water and identify pigs to hunt for food, which is important for the survival of the group and gives the group hope about their survival as well

Importance Of Character Development Essay

2270 words - 9 pages single character creates greater depth to the story. Faulkner speaks of the human spirit and internal conflict as something in which every individual can identify with. As readers become engaged in the story, he or she may begin to ponder their own internal conflict, or the internal conflict of someone close to them, and gain insight, understanding or wisdom. Internal conflict is a universal feeling whether it has a strong presence in one’s life or a

The Development Of Othello's Character In William Shakespeare's Play

1918 words - 8 pages The Development of Othello's Character in William Shakespeare's Play At the start of the play Othello is presented as a very confident character. He is a high ranking general in the Venetian army. However during the course of the play Othello is betrayed and manipulated by Iago, and the

The Development Of Othello's Character In William Shakespeare's Play

3046 words - 12 pages The Development of Othello's Character in William Shakespeare's Play Othello was first performed by the King’s Men at the court of King James I on November 1, 1604. Written during Shakespeare’s great tragic period, which also included the composition of Hamlet (1600), King Lear (1604–5), and Macbeth (1606), Othello is set against the backdrop of the wars between Venice and Turkey that raged in the latter part of the