Catcher In The Rye Essay

915 words - 4 pages

When one’s imagination becomes the director and producer of his thoughts and actions, he loses touch with reality. The ideas and plans are in a chaotic time slot; loneliness becomes the major factor in forming erratic thoughts and actions. In the novel A Catcher in the Rye, J.D Salinger gives insight to the protagonist’s thoughts, experiences, and frustrations in his world. Holden Caulfield’s instinctive desire to be a savior of the innocents evolves, and many times in the story, he faces disappointment. The internal struggles arise when his imagination draws him into situations in which he is unable, but wants desperately to be the hero. The world around him including his peers, family, and ...view middle of the document...

Caulfield has never recovered from the loss of this young son. Holden’s only familial affection and association is with his sister Phoebe, with whom he shares his thoughts and secrets. His suffering, because of the lack of parental affection and attention, results in unbalanced proportions. Carl Straucher writes, “Had there been deeper concern from his parents instead of the aimless existence at expensive private boarding schools, Holden’s life would have been better and a more comforting place”(17). His parents are very concerned about their own reputation and the opinion of people around them. Susan Mitchell opines, “The Caulfields are hypertensive about Holden’s revealing their personal life, because they want to protect their created image of conformed perfection”(131). Holden is a problem to them; their solution is transferring him to several schools when he is expelled from one after another. Holden is intelligent and can make the grade to stay in the schools, but his depression and his low self-esteem thus, prevent his educational success. Salinger never introduces the parents by their first names; the reader never truly knows them personally. The picture given of his family is biased due to the fact that: “Holden’s warped view denigrates without even considering that the Caulfields may be blameless” (Mitchell 131). Holden, a very confused young man, perhaps has given his own personal opinion, an opinion that is slanted concerning his parents. The reader does not have the information needed to make an actual informed view about Holden’s family.
Holden encounters may external conflicts with his school and the educational system as a whole....

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