An Analysis Of Holden Caulfield 's ' The Catcher 's The Rye '

1941 WordsJun 18, 20178 Pages
There are many unexpected changes between childhood and adolescence; one is affected by bodily changes, along with people they know changing around them. Hormones and emotions become uncontrollable, increasing levels of stress and fear during these particular stages of development. The transition between childhood innocence and the brutality of adulthood is long and confusing, often resulting in a loss of self identity. Children tend to look towards the future with great anticipation; whereas many adults tend to constantly reminisce about their childhoods. As a child, the thought is that growing up cannot come soon enough; one cannot appreciate the blissful innocence of childhood until it has passed. The novel, The Catcher in the Rye,…show more content…
The carousel, for example, makes Holden happy, going around and around in circles, but never really getting anywhere. In this way, Holden preserves his own childhood as well as Phoebe’s by rejecting the pressures of the adult world in favour of the joys of childhood. Holden admires the carousel because the surrounding environment and emotional happiness associated with this childhood ride never changes. As Holden watches and admires his sister, he reminisces on his own personal experiences, “It was playing ‘Oh Marie!’ It played that same song about fifty years ago when I was a little kid.” (210). Holden seems to appreciate the familiarity of the carousel and the surprise of an unchanged childhood memory. In this sense, Holden uses Phoebe to reflect upon his own loss of innocence, using this moment to avoid the adult society he must eventually become a part of. The title of this novel references the poem by Robert Burns, and the phrase ‘catcher in the rye’ has a very symbolic meaning; as Holden discusses his future, he mentions his ideal job of being ‘the catcher in the rye’. Holden’s motivation to acquire this career is due to the misheard lyrics “If a body catch a body comin’ through the rye” (173). Children commonly misunderstand lyrics; many continue singing their own version despite knowledge of the words being incorrect. These early realizations of childhood mistakes often act as a shift back into reality and the
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