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The Circle Game The Catcher In The Rye

1309 words - 6 pages

Circle Game-- from Childhood to Adulthood"And the seasons they go 'round and 'round, and the painted ponies go up and down. We're captive on the carousel of time. We can't return, we can only look behind from where we came, and go round and round and round in the circle game." These are the lyrics of "Circle Game" which is sung by Joni Mitchell. From the word carousel in the lyric, we can relate it to the carousel in The Catcher in the Rye. In this world, we are all captives of time. J.D. Salinger created a character that is in a transition between childhood and adulthood. In this transition, Holden is confused and lost. He protects himself by viewing the world in a cynical way. He ...view middle of the document...

Holden is disappointed by Sally and he upsets her.However, during their quarrel, Holden thinks about all the phonies and ridiculous things he had met with Sally and that makes him laugh. He smirks at the shallow people in society. What's more, when he talks about lawyers with Phoebe, he sees that lawyers won't even know they are phonies when they think they are good. The 1950s that Holden sees was a time when the war was away and the economy in America began to take off. It was a time that people were lured by money and could not find their dreams. Everything was covered up by the veil of fame and profit. From his father he sees the emptiness of being a lawyer. Moreover, from his brother, D.B., he sees success in Hollywood as fake. He looks down on that kind of nihilism. Through Holden's tone, Salinger suggests that there is a spiritual crisis in the affluent American society.However, Holden criticizes everything around him. It seems like that there is nothing that he can describe as something positive. He is an outsider in the society. He says that he want to be a catcher in a rye (173). However, he forgets that he is standing at the edge of a cliff. He is nearly fallen himself. He hates being phony; however, he has already lied several times throughout the story. He's being pretentious himself. He also longs for connections with people; at the same time, he wants to protect himself through feelings of alienation. Compared to his sister, Phoebe, who is relating mature, Holden is childish. In the story, through Holden's narration, Phoebe is described as innocence itself. But, as the story progresses, we see that Phoebe knows many things with great clarity.Holden describes Phoebe as a symbol of innocence because he doesn't want to grow up himself. He is afraid of changes and mysterious adulthood. That's why he maintains his cynicism as a protection to himself. He shows his immaturity in the story many times. He really is still a child at sixteen. When he talks to Luce about sex, you can find that Holden has somehow become a nuisance. To tell the truth, I don't like that part of the story too much because it shows Holden's faults to me. He's just being childish at that time. However, Holden is just being realistic in the story. He depicts what he sees in his journey in New York truly. He describes an aspiration of teenagers in the...

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