Catcher in the Rye Thesis Essay

610 Words Mar 24th, 2006 3 Pages
Catcher in the Rye Thesis Essay

The novel "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger is very interesting novel in which the main character, Holden, intrigues the reader with his unpredictable actions and upfront judgments of his surroundings. Holden alienates himself to try and help protect him from the outside world and conserve his innocence. He constantly proves this to reader many in times in the novel by, telling characters he feels different, wearing clothing that makes him stand out even though it may make him look stupid, and failing to come through in relationships with characters in the story. The first time that Holden really declares to the reader his tendency of alienation is during his conversation with Mr. Spencer. Spencer
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This hat provides Holden with a perfect and easy way to alienate himself from society and in doing so "protect himself". Holden allows the reader to hypothesize that he is attracted to a girl named Jane Gallagher, by constantly telling of his fond memories of her, but when push comes to shove his tendency to alienation himself from society, to "protect himself from losing his innocence", takes him over. On page 116 of the novel, Holden tells the reader that after he got his sister a record he went to a phone booth and called Jane's house. But when her mother picked up the phone he hung up. Holden tells the reader that he "didn't feel like getting into a long conversation with her mother" so he hung up but in reality Holden's personal preference of alienating himself frightened him and prevented him of making any contact with Jane. Holden's constantly telling that he is different from everyone else, who he defines as "phonies", wearing his hunting cap to make him standout in society, and inability to make a social contact with a Jane Gallagher, who he constantly brings up, are just a few lucid examples of his self-alienation of society. Holden feels and uses this alienation to protect himself from the harshness of society is this constant defense mechanism eventually leads to his

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