The Catcher in the Rye help with homework
- How important is sex to Holden? Is his messed up attitude toward sex a symptom of his problem, or is it more like a cause?
- If Holden is so obsessed with saving children’s innocence, why doesn’t he worry more about his own? What does “innocence” mean for him? To him?
- Typically characters grow and develop as the novel progresses. Analyze the transitions that Hold goes through in the novel. Does he change from the beginning to the end? If so, analyze three ways in which Holden changes. If not, analyze how Holden stayed the same throughout the novel
- What does the last line of the book mean? What does it indicate has happened or will happen to Holden?
- The whole novel is Holden’s narration of this long story. Who is he telling this story to (besides the reader) and what can we then conclude about Holden’s fate?
How important is sex to Holden? Is his messed up attitude toward sex a symptom of his problem, or is it more like a cause?
Sexual confusion is another of the consistent themes in The Catcher in the Rye. It is not unusual for any of us to be concerned about sex as adolescents, but Holden is especially so. He has the usual biological yearnings but has mixed feelings about how he should respond to them. Although he is a romantic, he still admits that he is sexually driven. It is to Holden’s credit that he respects what girls say when they ask him to stop making advances, even though he has heard the usual rumors that they don’t always mean it. On the other hand, Holden is unusually concerned about homosexual males (whom he calls “flits”). He thinks that all homoerotic behavior is “perverty,” lumping it together with bestiality (or at least accept the fact that Carl Luce has this view).
Although Holden is understandably bothered by Mr. Antolini’s odd behavior at the apartment, he might be over-reacting. Salinger is unclear about the former teacher’s motive. Holden and the readers might notice that the teacher pats him on the head, not the genitals. Thinking about major themes can be helpful to the reader. However, as readers of any work of fiction (especially with a novel as complex and richly ambiguous as The Catcher in the Rye) we need to be careful not to try to define or dissect too much. Most interpretations of the novel are debatable. The Catcher in the Rye remains a force in literature precisely because it may mean many things to many different people.
If Holden is so obsessed with saving children’s innocence, why doesn’t he worry more about his own? What does “innocence” mean for him? To him? He knows when you grow up ,you lose your innocence and there is nothing you can do about it. That’ s why he dreams of keeping children in the Rye where he can ” catch” them before they fall. This is only a dream, and he is depressed because there is no way he can save himself or Phoebe or anyone else. If he could, he would. Essentially innocence for him is being frozen in time where you stay a child forever and never see the horrors and mundane reality of life.
Holden wanted to save people from the phoniness of this world, as much as he wanted to distract himself and create his own bubble, he also wanted to protect people from the misery that the world keeps pouring onto them, I felt that when he was in the field of Rye, he’s not selfish or immature, he is simply have been traumatized in his life, he dont want it to happen to anybody else! And the way he talks about mediocre stuff and how they are being idolized by people is absolutely true ” People always clap for the wrong things ” …. ” its too bad that a lot of crumby stuff is fun sometimes” … notice the details of how he phrase his words not the plot of the story to know who the real Holden is.
Typically characters grow and develop as the novel progresses. Analyze the transitions that Hold goes through in the novel. Does he change from the beginning to the end? If so, analyze three ways in which Holden changes. If not, analyze how Holden stayed the same throughout the novel
Holden Caulfield is the protagonist in the novel “The Catcher in the Rye”. In the book Holden hears a quote “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he want to live humbly for one” (Salinger 188) which he embraces as he matures throughout the story. Holden’s opinions of childhood and adulthood change as he grows through experience.
Throughout the story Holden emphasizes his love for childhood innocence. In a passage he says “The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the golden ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything.” (Salinger 211) This immediately points to his affinity for innocence and not having the limits of being and adult. Instead of acknowledging that adulthood scares and mystifies him, Holden invents a fantasy that adulthood is a world of superficiality and hypocrisy (“phoniness”), while childhood is a world of innocence, curiosity, and honesty. Nothing reveals his image of these two worlds better than his fantasy about the catcher in the rye: he imagines childhood as an idyllic field of rye in which children romp and play; adulthood, for the children of this world, is equivalent to death—a fatal fall over the edge of a cliff. His created understandings of childhood and adulthood allow Holden to cut himself off from the world by covering himself with a protective armor of cynicism. But as the book progresses, Holden’s experiences, particularly his encounters with Mr. Antolini and Phoebe, reveal the shallowness of his conceptions.
What does the last line of the book mean? What does it indicate has happened or will happen to Holden?
“Don’t tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody” (page 214) seems like a very depressing outlook to have on life. I think that Holden is telling the readers not to make connections with people, because if you do it will cause you suffering. In his experience, at the young age of thirteen, Holden lost somebody he truly loved, his dear brother Allie who was only ten. That loss is what ignited his depression and every new loss that Holden had gone through (being kicked out of 3 schools, failed friendships and romances that were never seen through) lead him into a deeper depression. Holden has been through so much in three years. Getting close to people, in his experience, leads to pain.
The whole novel is Holden’s narration of this long story. Who is he telling this story to (besides the reader) and what can we then conclude about Holden’s fate?
In the end of story, some may see it as typical old Holden being closed off to the world and from people. To me however it seems likes he’s changed, that he finally acknowledged that other people are around but also that he cares for them; for someone other than his family. “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody”. The last line though still sounds depressing because it’s almost telling you to not go out and find a connection with another human; its Holden’s way of giving advice through everything he’s learned in his short life. Since reading the novel and knowing what Holden is like, one doesn’t expect him to be cheerful. He sees the world that way, this certain idea has been instilled in him due to all the unfortunate events he had to go through; it shaped his way of seeing life and can now not be changed. I would never follow his advice. He seems to be disappointed with the fact that people know parts of his life, but at least for once he seems to be feeling something towards those he used to call phony that isn’t phoniness. Holden knows his fate is in his own hands and that is why he feels the responsibility to be real and not live the life of a phony. Everyone is searching for something, though often we do not know or quite understand what is is we are looking for. It is through hard work and creative effort that we will be able to find our happiness and form our own destinies.