Catcher in the Rye

Critical Essay- The Catcher In The Rye

A novel in which one of the main characters is not in harmony with his society is the ‘Catcher In The Rye’ by J.D Salinger. Holden Caulfield is portrayed as a troubled teenager that’s not quite in sync with his surroundings and we know this immediately from the start as he tells his story from the mental institute in which he is currently residing. He seems to show a lot of frustration towards society and the way the world works. His lack of understanding in life is due to the death of his brother, Allie. Holden refuses to acknowledge his emotions with regards to Allie, who died of Leukaemia three years before the story takes place. In reaction to this death, he hides his true feelings about change, death and relationships with other people, from himself and so makes himself an outcast in civilization.
    Allie was a lot different from Holden and this difference was feared by him. He discusses Allie in great depth and details his talents and values. He was very smart and sporty and was more mature for his age that he should have been. This is the basis for Holden’s fear of growth and change. The more you grow, the closer to death you find yourself, and death is the ultimate change. This made Holden an outsider of his own right. He did not want to grow up and he didn’t want to change.
At one point, Holden talks about how much he loves the museum. He says that the museum is great because everything just stays in its place, behind glass, and never differs. Something’s should not change. He is really saying that he does not want to change the way Allie changed. Also, he says the only thing that is different about the museum visits is he himself and this he cannot stand. He does not want to go inside the museum because of this. This shows that he does not want to see how much he has grown and he especially does not want to see how much he has grown apart from Allie. Also, how different the two are from one another. Holden...