Review Of ' Holden 's ' The Catcher Rye '

Decent Essays

503347 Harper AP Lit 06 November 2015 Holden’s Adolescence J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye recounts protagonist Holden Caulfield’s journey after he becomes expelled from his boarding school, Pencey Preparatory, due to his inability to improve his grades. Before leaving Pencey, Holden visits Mr. Spencer to say goodbye, but Mr. Spencer confronts him with his lousy exam essay— causing Holden to make up an excuse to avoid Mr. Spencer’s persistent sermon. Holden does not go home; instead he wanders through New York City avoiding his awaiting parents at home. Salinger’s representation of Holden’s adolescence as a time graced by innocence and curiosity, yet terror and tribulation highlights that innocence eventually diminishes. Holden’s adolescence marks a time of terror and misfortune as he loses his younger brother Allie to leukemia, underlining that innocence does not remain eternally. Allie “died when [they] were up in Maine” during a trip (38). Instead of having the opportunity of having his brother with him, being able to play and interact with his brother, Holden ends up grieving his death, thus marking his adolescence as painful and sorrowful instead of gleeful. This emphasizes Holden’s exposure to adult situations, such as death, signaling his transition into adulthood and therefore the fading of innocence. Additionally, Allie’s death becomes the vehicle for Holden’s recognition of reality and his progression toward maturity, as well as the loss of

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