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Catcher in the Rye Character Analysis

Uploaded by Klownsam on Jul 04, 2004

Catcher In The Rye

The Catcher in the Rye can be strongly considered as one of the greatest novels of all time and Holden Caufield distinguishes himself as one of the greatest and most diverse characters. His moral system and his sense of justice force him to detect horrifying flaws in the society in which he lives. However, this is not his principle difficulty. His principle difficulty is not that he is a rebel, or a coward, nor that he hates society, it is that he has had many experiences and he remembers everything. Salinger indicates this through Holden's confusion of time throughout the novel. Experiences at Whooten, Pency, and Elkton Hills combine and no levels of time separate them. This causes Holden to end the novel missing everyone and every experience. He remembers all the good and bad, until distinctions between the two disappear. Holden believes throughout the novel that certain things should stay the same. Holden becomes a character portrayed by Salinger that disagrees with things changing. He wants to retain everything, in short he wants everything to always remain the same, and when changes occur; Holden reacts. However the most important aspect of Holden Caufield's character can be attributed to his judgment of people. Holden Caufield, a character who always jumps to conclusions about people and their phoniness, can be labeled as a hypocrite because he exemplifies a phony himself.

Holden Caufield the 16 year old protagonist and main character of The Catcher in the Rye narrates the story and explains all the events throughout three influential days of

his life. A prep school student who has just been kicked out of his second school, Holden struggles to find the right path into adulthood. He does not know what road to follow and he uses others as the scapegoat for his puzzlement in life. Harold Bloom explains,

His central dilemma is that he wants to retain a child's innocence., but because of biology he must move either into adulthood or madness. As a sort of compromise Holden imagines himself as "the catcher in the rye," a protector of childhood innocence exempt from movement into adulthood, which is neither possible nor sane." (Bloom's Notes 22)

Even Gerald Rosen states that, "It is important to note here that Holden's rejection of an adult role is not a case of sour grapes. He believes he will succeed and it is the successful...

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Uploaded by:   Klownsam

Date:   07/04/2004

Category:   Catcher in the Rye

Length:   9 pages (1,921 words)

Views:   50805

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