J.D Salinger, the author of ‘The catcher in the Rye’, this novel is about a boy named Holden Caulfield who wants to save the children in the field from falling off the cliff into adulthood. I always ask myself “why does he want to do this?” I think that Holden Caulfield thinks that adulthood is bad; people won’t say something is bad unless they have experienced it themselves, but I think that the only reason why Holden thinks adulthood is bad is because of his lack of faith in life.
At the beginning of this interesting novel, Holden was a very sarcastic person towards everything. He was also cynical and has a hopeless outlook on life. Holden has been kicked out of Pencey Prep for failing all of his subjects. Holden went to his history teacher who began lecturing Holden on his lousy term paper. Holden, however, saw only the comical part, “he was holding my paper like it was a turd or something,”
Holden believes that everyone and everything is ‘fake and phony’. In one of the chapters Holden took train ride to New York, Holden meets one of his classmate’s mothers. He began to talk to the mother and started to lie to her and says how nice her son is in school.
“That guy Morrow was about as sensitive as a god dam toilet seat,”
Holden thinks that it is ridiculous that parents don’t pay enough attention to their kid’s personality to know when someone is lying about their kid.
Holden thinks that lying is a fake and phony thing in life, but why did Holden lie himself? I think that Holden lies because in life, there are some things that if you didn’t know will be better then if you knew, even though I think it’s just an excuse for Holden to lie. In my opinion, truth will be revealed automatically, even if you don’t tell the person, they will find out! sooner or later Morrow’s mother will find out how her son is really like in school, it may look like that Holden is trying to make Morrow’s mother not worry about her son but to me, if she knows the answer, she will be in more pain. If Holden told Morrow’s mother the truth, she would be in less pain than when she finds out. The same reason as if you know that your friend smokes, your friends mother asks you “does my son smoke?” and if you say yes, it may hurt you and your friends relationship but if you say no, eventually your friends mother will find out, not only will she know that her son smokes, she will also know that you are not trustworthy and that you tell lies, in which case I think it is even worst.
Allie, Holden’s young brother who died from leukemia, represents the purity that Holden looks for in a world of phonies. Holden says that he admires Allie more than he admires his dead brother more then any other person. Allie also takes on the religious qualities of a savior near the end of the book when Holden has become ill and is having difficulty walking down Fifth Avenue. Holden said,
“Every time I’d get to the end of a block I’d make believe I was talking to my brother Allie. I’d say to him, Allie, don’t let me disappear.”
Holden speaks as if Allie was everything to him, his strength, his power, but since Allie is dead, Holden’s hope should be gone. When life comes, it comes with hope and we survive with hope.
Holden also has a younger sister called Phoebe, when he got kicked out of Pency Prep the first thing he did was went to visit his sister. Without the hope inside Holden, he would be hiding, in this case, there is another source of energy inside Holden making him survive and carry on with his life. ‘Phoebe’ is the name of a sun god, in the novel, Holden mention that when he was getting nearer and nearer to Phoebe’s room, he felt ‘warmer and warmer’, which this symbolizes that Phoebe is the other source of energy keeping Holden alive. To Holden, Phoebe is his Sun God… Phoebe is the one he can trust…
Throughout the whole novel, I think it is an interesting novel to read, even though I do not agree with Holden’s ‘fake and phoniness’.