Illusions in J.D. Salinger´s Catcher in the Rye Essays

Decent Essays

"Do not be mislead by what you see around you, or be influenced by what you see. You live a world which is a playground of illusion, full of false paths, false values and false ideals. But you are not part of that world" (Sai Baba). A world of illusion is an alluring, yet perilous place to enter. It can deceive the mind only to cause damage and distress. Holden Caulfield's life has led to. an atrophy through his struggle of conceiving illusions as reality. In J.D. Salinger's novel, "The Catcher in the Rye", Holden Caulfield battles the constant reminder of his brother, Allie's, death while he roams the streets of New York. Preceding his futile adventures, he is expelled from his fourth school, Pencey Prep. During his extent at …show more content…

By hiding from this adolescent problem, Holden only reprieves the situation. As Holden aspires to be the catcher in the rye, he includes his red hunting hat. "'This is a people shooting hat'...'I shoot people in this hat'" (Salinger 22). Holden becoming the catcher is arguably the biggest illusion in this novel. This quote is taken in a metaphorical sense as to his armor or protection when he saves people in the rye from any maturation. When he puts on this hunting hat, he instantly feels the prerogative to become the catcher. He continues to reach for this duty as the catcher in the rye, but this prevails over his intuition and common sense on indispensable issues. In the climax when Holden watches Pheobe on the carrousel, he puts on his hat as a protection from the non-precedent rain. "My hunting hat gave my quite a lot of protection, in a way, but i got soaked anyway. I didn't care though. I felt so damn happy all of a sudden" (Salinger 212-213). Throughout this novel, Holden had perceived this hunting hat as a full protection and a barrier in between him and the rest of the world. In this scene, Holden finally understands that this hat cannot protect him forever. It is known that this hat had also been a representation of Allie because "he had very red hair" (Salinger 38), and now Holden is apprehending that Allie cannot protect him from everything. While Holden knew he had the hat on and it was offering the protection it could,

Get Access