Reality Catcher In The Rye

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Change is a major part of life that most of us are afraid of. In reality however, change is a law of life, and since we cannot change its existence, we should naturally change the eyes in which we see reality. The infamous novel, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger gives insight on its protagonist Holden Caulfield who is afraid of the reality of change since he was traumatized at a young age. Caulfield is a 17-year-old boy who lived with his parents as well as his two younger siblings, Phoebe, and Allie before being sent off to attend Pencey Prep, a boarding school. Whilst Holden was 13 years old and living with his family, his younger brother, Allie, who had been fighting Leukemia, was killed by the cancerous disease. After his brother’s…show more content…
After escaping from Pencey, Holden later finds himself sneaking into his old house to reconnect with Phoebe while his parents are away. After greeting each other, Phoebe realizes that Holden absconded from Pencey Prep. She asks Holden what he will do with his life; he replies by saying, “I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye” (Salinger 173). Holden’s view of the catcher in the rye is a metaphor of being the protector of innocence. The tall rye represents the children’s childhood that they cannot see where it will take them; once they make it over the cliff, they will lose sight of the rye (their childhood) and will not be able to return to it. Holden’s depiction of the catcher in the rye indicates that he wants to prevent children from changing into adults as this would lead them to become phonies, the very thing he despised. Holden’s view makes sense, given that it can be inferred that he prefers to retreat into his own imaginary view of the world rather than deal with the complexities of the world around him; the very reason he left Pencey. His fantasy of being the catcher in the

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