Updated September 10, 2022

Identity, Sense Of Belonging, Loss, and Connection In The Catcher in the Rye

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Identity, Sense Of Belonging, Loss, and Connection In The Catcher in the Rye essay
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The Catcher in the Rye is a publication with reference to “Comin’ Thro the Rye,” with Holden Caulifield as the main Character longing to reserve the innocence of juvenile. Furthermore, the novel also deals with complex subjects of identity, sense of belonging, loss, and connection. It was written and published in 1951 by J.D Salinger.

We read that Holden is in his teenager hood; which is a typical stage of adolescence; a transitional stage of physical and psychological development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to permissible adulthood. He is an Intelligent and emotional teenager who sees himself as “the catcher in the rye.” However, Holden may be viewed as a lost, confused, and immature teenage boy. When going through the novel, we read again that he faces some challenged with the realities of growing up, that of violence, sexuality, and corruption (or “phoniness”), and he doesn’t want any part of it.

It is true that indeed children go through a lot in their teenage stage and this it’s one of the fragile stages of teens lives, as they are still fighting to find themselves; they encounter many challenges which some can deal with them and some run away from it all. According to Historically (written by: Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi -the Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica) many societies founded formal ways for older individuals to help young people take their place in the community.

Like most stereotype individuals in society, Holden sees women/girls as “phony – superficially acting a certain way only to change others’ perceptions”. He believes that they are only interested in shallow greed and image. For example, when Holden takes Sally on a date, he is repelled with her when she goes to talk to another boy. He assumes she only does so because he is “ivy league”. Holden also believes that all adults are “phonies” because they take charge for their lives, even when things don’t go their way, adults must cope, Holden finds it particularly difficult to accept that his parents can move on from Allie’s death. His parents moved on with their lives and earned a living as if though nothing has ever happened to his brother who died of leukemia. Holden describes Allie as very intelligent and incredibly kind and notes, he played baseball, and he wrote poems in green ink on his baseball mitt to read while no one was at bat. Unfortunately, Allie’s death affects Holden negatively.

His interaction with women in the novel, is very different to how he interacts with men. Although he is very nice to younger female characters, such as Jane and Phoebe, he gets sexually attracted to older women which is leads him to being disrespectful and impolite teenage who is immature hence the work phony is repeated numerous times in this novel.

Holden sees Jane as a saint he would often reminisce about Jane Gallagher’s friendly personality and is excited to speak about their friendship. Jane is in the same age as Holden; she is one of the girls that Holden develops attraction both physically and mentally. Therefore, Jane is depicted as a genuine girl with a difficult home life although the novel vaguely introduces us to her.

After Allie died, Holden smashed all the windows in his parent’s garage, breaking his hand in the process, he almost spiraled out of control and depressed. He often imagines conversations with him when he is feeling depressed in a futile effort to change the past.

Holden has a younger sister called Phoebe and their relationship is extremely important because she represents the innocence in her. He adores the sister and cherishes her innocence, which he equates to inherit goodness. Phoebe is Holden’s only real friend in the novel. She is his only confidant and, in Holden’s view, the only person that understands him. Also, she makes him reason a lot about what he wants to do and become in life, which we read in the novel that Holden responds with saying that he wants to be the catcher in the rye. For Holden, growing, it required the knowledge to recognize the world around him for what it certainly is and not the false way he believes he was raised (notice the constant use of the word “phonies -superficially acting a certain way only to change others’ perceptions ” as he references that world and the new one in which he is far too uncomfortable from) which has left him feeling isolated and cynical about the future.

Identity, Sense Of Belonging, Loss, and Connection In The Catcher in the Rye essay

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Identity, Sense Of Belonging, Loss, and Connection In The Catcher in the Rye. (2020, Sep 13). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-catcher-in-the-rye/


Does Holden have an identity crisis?
The main character, Holden Caulfield, is an adolescent who is struggling to find his own identity. He is somewhat of an outsider, trying to get his independence. In the novel he is having an 'identity crisis, rebelling against the adult world, in search for himself . He does not know who he is, or where he wants to go.
How is loss of innocence shown in The Catcher in the Rye?
Holden desires to be represented as the catcher in the rye. He sees himself as someone that catches the children falling off the cliff while playing in the rye. The kids represent childhood, the field represents innocence and the fall from the cliff represents the fall from innocence.
What does falling symbolize in Catcher in the Rye?
The fall from the cliff represents the fall from innocence . Holden represents the attempt to shelter kids from growing up, and more personally, represents his desire to avoid the harshness of adult life. The Catcher in the Rye, Part 2: The symbol is ironic.
Why does Holden struggle to find his identity?
Sources of Holden's Identity Struggles: The main cause is the guilt he carries about his brother, Allie's, death . Holden gets very depressed when he talks about his brother, and almost feels guilty that he is alive, while his brother is dead.
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