Holden Caulfield's Journey In Catcher In The Rye

1690 Words7 Pages
Holden Caulfield spent most of the first and second acts of J.D. Salinger's novel, The Catcher in the Rye, desperately trying to find his calling in life. The book's narrative began shortly after Holden's expulsion from Pencey Prep, as he again veered off the path to a prestigious college and a suitable job set for him and the other 'high-class kids'. Holden decided to avoid his parents by going to New York, and although he arranged dates and socialized on multiple occasions, he internally derided every adolescent or adult he meets as a phony. He became consumed by his quest to learn where the ducks go after their lagoon in Central Park freezes over, relating this to his need to find a place to go after he no longer has a home, as well as his…show more content…
Antolini stroking his head, and in which he feared he would disappear if he even crossed a street, Holden became obsessive over running away for a second time. He wrote to Phoebe that he would be hitch-hiking out West, and asked her to meet him at the museum, where he could give her back her Christmas money before starting life as a deaf-mute. While delivering his note, and waiting at the museum, Holden’s connections with familiar places from his innocent past were cut by the offensive signs everywhere, seemingly leading him to decide that there is no rye field for the innocent to run safely in the increasingly immoral post-war society. However, when Phoebe arrived at the museum with a giant suitcase, proclaiming her desire to go with Holden, he snaps at her: "'You're not going. Now shut up! Gimme that bag,' [yelled Holden] ... [Pheobe] started to cry" (206). Holden hated that his decision, that he was excited to follow through on, could cause Phoebe to want to leave her education, school play and bright future behind to follow in his unsuccessful footsteps. He once again becomes determined to save Phoebe's innocence, even though he can see that it will undermine the most promising aspects of her development and coming of age. She stubbornly pretended to be ignoring him, but they followed eachother to the zoo and then to the park, as the tension between the two softened. They come to the carrousel and Holden returns the fateful Christmas cash to Phoebe, who gives him back his red hunting hat, his beloved artifact of rebellion and insecurity. Holden persuades Phoebe to ride the carrousel, and "watched her go around and around... All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she'd fall off the goddam horse, but I didn't say anything or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab the gold

More about Holden Caulfield's Journey In Catcher In The Rye

Open Document