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The Catcher in the Rye
Transcript of The Catcher in the Rye
Pency Prep. He doesn't like the school so he runs away from it. It is made clear at the books opening that Holden is a clever and insightful boy, but is also overly cynical, naive and is a bit of a hypocrite. But more on that later. Climax Holden sneeks into his parent's house to say hi to his little sister, Phoebe. His parents come home so Holden has to sneak out fast so they don't know that he left Pencey. He heads to the house of his old teacher, Mr. Antolini, to stay the night. He wakes in finds that his former teacher is stroking his hair. Assuming Mr. Antolini is a pervery Holden runs off. He decides that he will run away from New York, but he wants to tell his sister first. Falling Action Holden goes to his siter's school explaining that he is leaving. Phoebe throws a fit and becomes furious at Holden. Holden had not seen his sister so angry before and it touched him. Resolution Holden takes Phoebe to the zoo and changes his mind about leaving. He comes sort of full introspection, but he begins to realize the source of his cynicism. He sees Phoebe on a carousel reaching for the ring in the center and when he reaches the epiphany that growing up is dangerous, you could fall of life's "carousel," but you have to go after your dreams, even if that means getting hurt by the "phony world" Characters Holden Holden is a 16 year old boy who is is at odds with world. He feels like an outsider from the rest of the world, which he calls "Phony" to shelter him from the cold reality the is a social outcast. Holden lost his little brother, Allie, at a young, this event is partially what caused Holden to be so bitter to the world. Holden also hates how the world corrupts innocent children, some of the few people who Holden sees as not being "Phony." Phoebe Phoebe is Holden's little siter and one of the few people who Holden constantly likes. Phoebe is considerable more intelligent and optimistic than Holden. She is not naive though, she has learned from Holden to see the darker side of the world. Themes and Motifs and Symbolism Shelter From Society Society has been relentlessly brutal to Holden. As a means to justify his alienation he cooses see everyone who commits even the most insignificant heinous act as being "phony." Holden sees himelf, however, as the epitome of morallity. This is clearly false as Holden paticipates in many acts that he calls phony. Holden chooses to ignore his hypocricy because he wants a reson not to interact with the average human being, and he finds his absolve in seeing himself as a moral superior. In truth though, Holden is actually afraid to interact with people beccause of his difficult childhood. Hardships of Growing up Throughout the novel Holden drinks alcohol, smokes and hires a prostitue. He sees himself as an adult, yet he doesn't want to lose all his innocents as he believes all adults do. This is evident by the facts that Holden buys a prostitute but rejects her afterwards. Holden also tries to scrub away graffitti that says "F*** you," as he sees it as robbing children of their innocents. Furthermore, Holden states that he likes museums and carousels because they never change. Holden is subliminaly stating that he wants to remain a child, but he is caught up in a world that is ultimately corrupt and adult. Symbolism The "Catcher in the Rye" has many symbolic objects, but for the sake of brevity i will describe only two: The Carousel and the Holden's vision of the "Catcher in the Rye."
The carousel constantly repeats the same circular motion. Holden remarks that he likes this because it never changes. Holden then notices the children reaching for the gold ring at the center of the ride, he realizes that the kids may get hurt, but sometimes you have to do something risky to get what you want. This all symbolically means that Holden doesn't want to grow up, he wants to stay the same, but in at the sametime he realizes that to progress in life he must venture into adult hood, even if many adults are corrupt and dangerous.
Holden shares a dream of his to Phoebe in which he is standing in a field of rye next to a cliff. Children are running in the field and occasionally stumble next to the edge of cliff. When this happens Holden grabs the children and keeps them from falling. The imagery of Holden's dream is derived from a song about an afair that takes place where no one can see. Knowing this, it can be infered that this is an allegory for how Holden wants to prevent kids from falling out of innocents,