Catcher in the Rye Essay

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Catcher in the Rye

Catcher in the Rye: A Coming of Age Tale

This novel explores many themes that are commonly felt by teenagers.

Salinger’s novel discusses Holden’s stand against phoniness. Another major

theme running through the novel is self-loathing, and while it may not be quite

that extreme in all cases, most teenagers go through the “awkward” stage.

Loneliness is also expressed in the novel. Every teenager goes through a time

were they feel like they’re alienated. In a lot of ways, Holden also literally wants

to be the catcher in the rye. These are just some of the themes that run through

this novel. Jerome David Salinger only wrote one novel, Catcher in the Rye. It

was published in
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"I hate actors. They never act

like people. They just think they do." (p.117) Holden’s constant criticism is a

major factor in his detachment from society. Of course, he does it to himself, and

while he knows that it is the reason why he is ostracized, he doesn’t seem to

want to do anything about the problem. He always has an excuse why he can’t

be friends with somebody, whether it’s their phoniness or personal habits.

Another major theme running through this novel is self-loathing, and while

it may not be quite that extreme in all cases, most teenagers go through the

“awkward” stage. Holden Caulfield has low self-esteem. “I almost wished I was

dead.” (p. 48) He says this at one point in the novel after a fight with his

roommate. It seems like so many bad things that happen to him are brought on

by him and his mouth. Even his younger sister Phoebe can realize how negative

Holden has become. He snuck into his house to visit her and she told him “You

don't like anything that's happening. . . . You don't like any schools. You don't like

a million things. You don’t.” (p.169)

Loneliness is also expressed in the novel. Many people get lonely, but

Holden’s habit of pushing almost everyone away causes him to be exceptionally

lonely. “I felt so lonesome all of a

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