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Theme Essay

889 words - 4 pages

In The Catcher in the Rye, there are various themes in the novel such as Holden alienating himself from the world, the deceitfulness of the adult world, and pain of growing older each and every day. In the beginning of the novel, we quickly learn that Holden distances himself from people when he states, "... Practically the whole school except me was there..." (2). Holden also informs us that he is on top Thomsen Hill alone while the entire school is at the football game, which throughout the novel we learn that Holden alienating himself is a frequent occurrence. During chapter two, Holden exposes his separation from society when he noted that, “People never notice anything” (9). Holden sets himself apart from people, who fail to recognize Holden’s level of maturity. Next, another theme in The Catcher in the Rye is the phoniness Holden encounters with adults. For instance, Holden called Mr. Haas “The phoniest bastard I ever met in my life” (13) because he only acted “charming as hell...” (14) to the better looking parents and give a “phony smile” (14) to the “fat or corny-looking” (14) parents. This encounter with Mr. Haas, depicts an emblem for how the world around him has erroneous ways and also allows him to isolate himself from others. In addition, Holden has a conversation with his sister Phoebe in chapter twenty-two, where he portrays the phoniness of lawyers where he questions if lawyers actually wanted “ to save guys’ lives” (171) or if they did it because they wanted to “be a terrific layer, with everyone slapping you on the back and congratulating you in court when the goddam trial was over...” (172). Holden describes the superficial behavior of the adult lawyers and how they wouldnt really know if they were being phony. The last theme in The Catcher in the Rye, is Holden longing to stay young and innocent and how painful it could be growing up. In chapter sixteen, Holden arrives at the museum where he points out, “The best thing... in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was... The only thing that would be different would be you...” (121). Each time Holden visits the museum, he can rely on them to never grow old, become phony or change, which is how he wants things to be: coherent and ageless. Furthermore, we learn that Holden wants to be the one to “... stand on the edge of some crazy cliff...” and “... catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff...” (173). This means Holden wants to be the one who...

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