Three Myths About Holden Caulfield in JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye

With the loss of life of my favourite "coming of age" writer just a few years in the past, I began excited about my tackle Holden Caulfield. Certain fifty years have skipped by since my first studying, however I questioned how I felt about Holden now that I’m well beyond my teen years. Was he one of many good guys or dangerous guys? Was he nonetheless a hero in my thoughts? Within the strategy of this to re-evaluate of Holden and his world three myths surrounding this well-known literary character emerged in my thoughts's eye. That’s, these are myths as a result of I believed they had been true as a teen, however not now. And for the sake of seeing this in print, I’ll bleep out a number of phrases alongside the best way.

1. Though the e-book has been kicked by some faculties, there's nothing in "Catcher within the Rye" on the very first web page that might upset the standard reader-after all, it's a basic. Properly, the primary phrase bomb seems proper at first on web page 5, "crap," after which "hemorrhages", "bleep," "bleep," and "bleep." Again in 1951, many readers thought these phrases had been slightly vulgar, particularly my dad and mom and Aunt Dolores. Now, for those who ever had the pleasure of assembly Aunt Dolores, she would have knocked your socks off. In addition to being beautiful, she was my godmother. She hated the e-book from the primary web page on. That mystified me at age sixty as a result of I cherished it. I believed it was so trustworthy! So genuine! I shocked to myself: "You imply there have been different YA books on the market that is perhaps like this one?" And that novel impressed me to change into a "reader" of many YA books.

2. Holden Caulfield performed primarily by the principles, however the world was out to get him. Aunt Dolores thought that you must play by the principles, or no less than her guidelines. She wouldn’t have gotten alongside swimmingly with Holden. Did Holden assume life was like a recreation and greatest to observe the principles? He mentioned (on web page eight) "Sport my bleep. aspect … Nothing.

Not too lengthy into Holden's world the reader discovers that he's not a dependable narrator. He's nice on the main points of what he sees, however he's poor at placing what he sees in a well-rounded perspective, identical to many teenagers driving to search out their place on this planet. Grown-ups don’t make a lot sense to them. To teenagers, we look like aliens from outer house that they must tolerate. Holden tends to see first the negatives in folks comparable to Ackley's pimples, Stradlate's untidy toiletries, Mr. Antolini's consuming downside, and Mr. Spencer's previous bathrobe and bumpy chest. He fixes on this stuff as an alternative of exploring and having fun with the abilities of others. In different phrases, he misses out on many easy pleasures.

three. Holden is such a beloved character in American literature as a result of he marches to a distinct drummer. Holden has a thoughts of his personal, however he actually shouldn’t be prepared to develop as an individual or study from his errors. When he says goodbye to his former historical past instructor, Mr. Spencer, he describes him this fashion on web page 9, "I'm not too loopy about sick folks, anyway. Holden is fast to belittle these adults who hope that he’ll change into extra accountable. He would slightly keep away from any instant emotional ache, and act as if the longer term doesn’t matter. Mr. Spencer tells Holden that he needs to assist him, however Holden thinks (on web page 15): "We had been simply on reverse sides of the pole, that's all." That's understating it.

By assembly with Mr. Spencer, Holden seems to be getting closure on his disturbing days at Pencey Prep, however Holden is simply going by means of the motions of life. He doesn’t wish to share any actual emotions or take into consideration what's subsequent for him, although. Spencer strongly urges him to take action, even to the purpose of being slightly blunt with him on web page 14: "Do you’re feeling completely no concern on your future, boy?" Holden says, "… not an excessive amount of, I assume." Holden makes use of "denial" as a defensive weapon to repel self-knowledge and alter.

Holden needs to flee any self-introspection that he can, and stay in a extra harmless world the place he can rescue children from falling into maturity, the place the "phonies" are, and the place they might not even know they’re phonies.

Nonetheless, it was Holden's story that impressed me at sixteen to learn extra and be extra conscious of phonies, particularly once I was being one.

Thanks, Holden Caulfield.

Source by Joe Sottile