J. D. Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye

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In JD Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield is a depressed teenager who hates nearly everything in the world. There are two main loves in Holden’s life shown throughout the book, the “perfect” Jane Gallagher and his hated Sally Hayes. However, throughout the book, the reality of Jane is never proven. In all, the character that changes Holden the most in JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye is Jane, as she is not even real and made up by Holden in his head, the vision of perfection that Holden has put in Jane forces him to believe that nothing can even be satisfactory in comparison, and because through his delusions of a lost love, Holden is driven insane. While it may sound like a joke at first, there is a lot of evidence found throughout Catcher in the Rye that points to the theory that Jane Gallagher is completely made up in Holden’s head. First of all,…show more content…
Since Holden has created a so-called “perfect” human being in his head, he compares everything to her, and thus nothing ever comes close. On page 169, Phoebe accuses Holden of hating everything, saying “You don’t like a million things. You don’t.” (169). Phoebe then challenges Holden to say one thing he does like, but he comes up short. The reason as to why Holden can’t think of anything is because the only thing that he does like is Jane, which he cannot have, as she doesn’t really exist. In addition, Holden’s favorite thing to call someone or something he doesn’t like is a “phony”. Holden unknowingly uses this as his go-to insult, as his “one love” Jane is an actual phony. Whenever he thinks of something phony, Holden subconsciously connects it to the fact that Jane doesn’t exist, and thus has a negative association with other so-called phonies. In fact, the negative nature that the fake Jane put in Holden’s life is one of the biggest reasons as to why Holden goes

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