Growing Up, The Catcher in the Rye

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A young man going through puberty, not knowing what he is doing or where he is headed, in a world in which he feels he doesn't belong in, and feels he is always around a bunch of "phonies." This would describe the position of Holden Caulfield, the main character in The Catcher in the Rye (1951) written by J.D. Salinger. The book, all narrated by Holden in first person, in its very unique and humorous style, is about Holden, and all the troubles he has encountered through school, family, friends, and basically life. Holden has been expelled from a private school in Pennsylvania because of failing classes, and decides to go to New York for three days before going home to his disappointed parents. At the beginning of the novel, Holden…show more content…
I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over”(13). Knowing it or not, Holden is curious about the ducks in the lagoon, because he himself doesn’t know where he is going, or how he is going to get there. He has been kicked out of numerous schools, and he needs a scapegoat such as the lagoon freezing over in order to find out where it is he is going. Holden shows the reader how disgusted and disturbed he is by this adult world in which he is growing into. He wishes to stay young, and keep everything simple, and to keep away from all the “phonies” out there. After recalling all the people he has met, and admitting how sick he is, Holden realizes that he is just as phony as everybody else. He ends the story, adding,” Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody”(214). Works Cited: Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. New York: Bantam,
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