Holden Caulfield Character Analysis

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Everything in the world changes. People, places, and seasons. Changes can be scary, especially the change from childhood to adulthood. During this transformation, children are too often left alone to uncover the truths and injustices of the world by themselves. Children often feel like they are being abandoned in a world that they just don’t quite understand. Holden Caulfield is left alone to discover how to play the game of life. However, after his brother’s tragic death, Holden gets stuck in a hole and cannot find the right card to keep moving in the game of life. In J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in The Rye, Holden Caulfield struggles to find his place in the world, as he tries to protect his younger sister Phoebe from the injustices…show more content…
One of these people happens to be Holden Caulfield. Holden is at the age where his life is constantly changing, and if he can’t keep up with these changes he will be trapped in a state of misery. While wasting time in before his date with Sally, Holden decides to visit the museum he used to go to as a child. While walking through the exhibits he starts pondering about how “in that museum…everything always stayed right where it was.” Holden believes that “Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.” When Holden makes that remark he is referring to how he wishes he could just put his brother Allie in a glass case, and not have to lose him. This was one of the most horrific changes Holden has had to endure and it made him believe that any and all changes bring catastrophic events. It caused Holden to duck further into his shell, because he wants to shield himself from all the other miserable changes and injustices the world has to offer. Holden wants to preserve the purity he once saw in the world, especially for all of the children who have not yet gone through the changes he has. He wants to be the catcher in the rye, who stands on the edge of a cliff “to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff”. Holden wants to prevent children from falling off the cliff into the corrupt adult world. He believes that he can fill the void of the lacking “catcher” in his own life, and be the savior that picks up children when they fall, especially for his sister Phoebe. At the end of the book, Holden watches Phoebe on the carousel, when he finally realizes that “the thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off they fall off, but it’s bad if you say anything to them”. This is the moment where Holden

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