The Catcher in the Rye

Falling In

In his novel, The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger narrates the psychological and physical tribulations of Holden Caulfield, an overanalyzing, mentally unstable teenage boy, searching for satisfaction in an ever-changing world. In one selection, Holden describes his nighttime journey through Central Park; on the edge of an emotional breakdown, he seeks companionship yet continuously scorns the idea of being with those who care about him. Through Salinger's manipulation of detail, setting, and repetition, he underscores Holden's feelings of loneliness and detachment, and he exposes his deteriorating mental state.

In order to capture and demonstrate Holden's unspoken emotions, Salinger employs an ironic selection of details. Holden, lonesome and forlorn, longs to disregard his past experiences; however, as he breaks the record intended for his sister Phoebe, he "...didn't feel like just throwing [the pieces] away" (Salinger 154). This unbroken tie to his past reappears as he describes the stress and concern of his parents and his "whole goddamn stupid bunch of" relatives if he died (155). Ironically, he imagines only his fear of "...picturing [his mother] not knowing what to do with all...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 725 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4211 literature essays, 1403 sample college application essays, 171 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in