The Metamorphosis of Holden in The Catcher in the Rye
Without love and guidance, young people often find themselves lost; unsure of what direction their lives are headed. Such is the case with Holden Caulfield, a character from the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. Holden is a sixteen-year old boy who has lost his way. Hold has suffered a great loss, the death of his Brother, Allie.
Holden is trying to reconcile his emotions since Allie's death. While dealing with their own grief, Holden's parents have neglected his needs and have therefore not addressed this with him. Holden goes searching for answers and companionship since his parents are emotionally unavailable. This story takes up with Holden on in search to all the wrong places to find these things.
After a fight with his roommate at Pencey Prep School, Holden goes to Ackly's room. He strikes up some very superficial conversation and then asks if Ackly wants to play a game of cards. Ackly declines. Asking "Do you know what time it is, by any chance?"(pg.42) Holden is aware of the time but is desperate for a friend. Holden presses father asking if he could spend the night in Ackly's room. Ackly once again denied Holden's request
With that, Holden let's Ackly go back to sleep and lays alone with his thoughts, "I t was depressing out in the street. You couldn't even hear any cars anymore. I got feeling so lonesome and rotten. I even felt like waking Ackly up."(pg.50) At this point Holden decides that he is going to run away for a few days before he has to go home. On the train going into the city, Holden meets up with Mrs. Morrow. He finds her very attractive. An interesting point here is that he tells her a very lavish story about needing an operation but he abhors "phonies" and all the attention that they demand. He invites her for a cocktail, "C'mon join me, why don't ya?" Mrs. Morrow suggests that, "the club car's most likely closed,"(pg.57) but thanked him for the offer.
The first thing that Holden tries to do when he gets off of the train, is to try to find someone to call. At this point it's very clear that Holden is depressed and lonely. "I couldn't think of anyone to call,"(pg.59) says Holden. So he hails a cab and strikes up a conversation with the driver, " You know those duck's in that lagoon right near Central Park South? That Little Lake? By any chance do you know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over?"(pg.60) The driver brushes him off. Holden invites him for a cocktail as well. " Can't do it, Mac, Sorry."(pg.61) The driver responds.
Holden persists in questioning people about the ducks. The duck are reflective of Holden's fear of the unknown. Of what happens after we stop "being." He needs to be reassured that things are going to be okay. Holden goes on bad dates, meets up with a prostitute, and frequents nightclubs all in his search for love and...