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...

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