Haulden Caulfield

First Literary Essay:   “The Catcher in the Rye”
Theme: Holden Caulfield´s fixation on childhood

The novel   “The Catcher in the Rye” written by J.D. Salinger in the late 1940’s, is one of the most controversial and influential books of the twentieth century.   One of the most relevant aspects that arises throughout the book is the very particular vision that the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, has of childhood opposed to adulthood. In this essay the main aspect to be analyzed in depth will be Holden Caulfield's fixation on childhood. He feels trapped between a simple world of innocence, which he identifies with childhood, and a complex, frightful and superficial world that he identifies with adulthood. Childhood and adulthood will be compared and contrasted in this essay in order to analyze the protagonist’s complex inner thoughts and feelings. This aspect is immensely important because it is developed all along the book trough different themes, motifs and symbols. In addition, this aspect is very important to be analyzed because the book itself centers around the process of maturity of an adolescent who is having a hard time going from childhood to adulthood. This book has influenced several generations of Americans and has had an immense impact on teenagers all over the world.

The story commences with Holden Caulfield describing encounters he has had with students and faculty of Pencey Prep in Agerstown, Pennsylvania in the winter of 1949. He criticizes them for being superficial, or, as he would say, "phony." After he is expelled from this school for his poor academic performance, he decides to take a train to New York City and stays in a hotel for a period of three nights before arriving at the end to his home. During his stay at the hotel, he has various encounters and peculiar meetings with different people. There is the encounter with a prostitute, Sunny; the encounter with and old girlfriend, Sally Hayes; the encounter with his younger sister, Phoebe...