The Catcher in the Rye is a novel by J.D. Salinger that follows the life of Holden Caulfield, a teenager who is struggling to find his place in the world. The novel has been praised for its depiction of teenage angst and its criticism of the hypocrisy of adult society. However, one of the most striking aspects of The Catcher in the Rye is its exploration of the theme of isolation.
Holden is an extremely isolated character. He is alienated from his family, his classmates, and even from himself. This isolation is a result of Holden’s morality. He is not able to conform to the hypocritical standards of adult society, and so he feels like an outsider everywhere he goes.
This isolation is a central part of The Catcher in the Rye, and it is one of the things that makes the novel so powerful. The reader experiences Holden’s isolation along with him, and it is this shared experience that makes us empathize with Holden and root for him to find a way out of his loneliness.
It’s to defend oneself when someone continually rejects others. In J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield, the protagonist, makes a variety of isolating motions throughout the book. Holden’s conduct shows that he wants love and affection, yet his inability to maintain a structured chat indicates that he is unable to receive this from others.
The teenage years are vital in regards to the process of maturing. The novel The Catcher in the Rye is based on a seventeen-year-old boy, Holden Caulfield, who is struggling through his journey into adulthood. The story follows Holden as he is kicked out of his prestigious boarding school and becomes a wanderer in New York City.
As Holden walks the streets alone, he begins to notice all of the phoniness that comes with growing up. The people around him seem to have turned into phonies and he can no longer stand being around them. In order to protect himself from all of the phoniness, Holden creates many walls which prevent anyone from getting too close to him.
One example that demonstrates Holden’s need for isolation occurs when he is talking to his little sister, Phoebe. Holden has just been kicked out of boarding school and has run away from home. He calls Phoebe from a payphone and tells her that he is not coming home. When she asks him where he is, he lies to her and says that he is in Boston. He does not want her to worry about him so he creates this wall between them by lying. This wall prevents Phoebe from being able to fully understand what is going on with Holden and also stops her from being able to help him.
Holden continues to build walls throughout the novel in order to keep people at a distance. He does not want anyone to get too close to him because he is afraid of being hurt. The people that he does let into his life, he ends up pushing away. This is seen when Holden meets a girl named Sally Hayes. He takes her out on a date and she tries to get closer to him but he pushes her away. He does not want to open up to her because he knows that he will only end up hurting her in the end.
Throughout The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger’s protagonist, Holden Caulfield, creates reoccurring gestures of isolation which suggest the need for love and affection. By pushing people away, Holden is only preventing himself from getting the help that he needs. The walls that he has built up will eventually crumble and he will be forced to face the world head on.
Holden becomes emotionally scarred in his childhood when his only liked brother, Allie, dies. This leads Holden to push people away even though he is actually harming himself. He feels guilty and remorseful after losing human connection since it’s an integral part of social society.
The novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, illustrates how Holden’s fear of people leads to his inevitable isolation through character development, symbols, and setting.
Holden Caulfield is a seventeen-year-old boy from New York City. The novel The Catcher in the Rye follows Holden’s journey as he is kicked out of Pencey Prep and becomes a wanderer in search for companionship. After Allie’s death, Holden becomes extremely resentful and has trouble trusting people.
For example, when Holden calls up Sally Hayes, instead of asking her how she is doing or catching up with her, he immediately starts talking about himself and what he has been up to “‘I’ve been thinking about you all the time,’ I said. ‘You have no idea how much I’ve missed you and stuff’” (Salinger 138). This shows that Holden is not interested in other people, but only himself. Furthermore, after finding out that his little sister Phoebe is going to see a movie with a boy she likes, Holden becomes extremely agitated and tries to stop her from going.
When Phoebe asks him why he doesn’t want her to go, he responds with “‘Because I don’t think you ought to go out with guys till you’re a helluva lot older than you are now… I don’t want anything to happen to you, that’s all. I don’t want any guys around you at all till you’re about thirty-five or forty years old… You ought to be home every night before dark, and in bed by nine o’clock” (Salinger 172). Holden is so overprotective of Phoebe because he does not want her to experience the same pain and hurt that he did when Allie died. As a result, Holden becomes isolated from people because he cannot trust anyone or let anyone get close to him.
In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden views the world as a fall from innocence into corruption. For example, when Holden is talking to Phoebe on the phone, he tells her that he wants to be “the catcher in the rye” (Salinger 188). The catcher in the rye is a figure who protects children from falling off a cliff and represents innocence. This shows that Holden wants to protect children from losing their innocence and becoming corrupted like the rest of the world.