Date of publication: 2017-07-08 17:16
A key part of Holden’s emotional life involves his reaction to Allie’s death. People live for a while, but all too soon we all die. Allie did not choose it, but Holden thinks about James Castle , a skinny boy who jumped out the window at school and fell to his death. Holden himself entertains thoughts of a similar suicide. The decision to numb himself to his feelings about life is a decision to shut himself down emotionally so much that he is no longer truly living. It is a decision, however, that remains fundamentally impossible for Holden. When he thinks about James Castle, he cannot bear to imagine James just laying there amidst the stone and blood, with no one picking him up.
Although . Salinger has written many short stories, The Catcher in the Rye is Salinger s only novel and his most notable work, earning him great fame and admiration as a writer and sparking many high school students interest in great literature. The protagonist s adventures and concerns about phony people engage readers and old.
Holden is full of contempt for the prep school, but he looks for a way to &ldquo say goodbye&rdquo to it. He fondly remembers throwing a football with friends even after it grew dark outside. Holden walks away from the game to go say goodbye to Mr. Spencer, a former history teacher who is very old and ill with the flu. He sprints to Spencer&rsquo s house, but since he is a heavy smoker, he has to stop to catch his breath at the main gate. At the door, Spencer&rsquo s wife greets Holden warmly, and he goes in to see his teacher.
WE never really find out much about Holden's parents. Holden seems to be isolated from them. They have money to put him in an expensive boarding school but it doesn't seem they take a direct interest in his life. They would probably be upset that.
I thought the 'Rye' referred to in Robert Burns' poem was the river Rye, hence the lines: 'Jenny's a wet poor body, Jenny's seldom dry'. In this regard it is about two people who meet at a river with no crossing, which will cause people to question why one of them is wet and what they have been doing.
Holden might see some romance in suicide and some comfort in the idea that it ends internal pain, but death does seem worse, the ultimate loneliness. He seen the effects of death on the living as well. He thus cannot do to Phoebe what Allie has done to them already.
The Catcher in the Rye study guide contains a biography of . Salinger, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
The novel draws on characters and themes that appeared in a number of Salinger s earlier short stories, some of which form the basis for individual chapters in The Catcher in the Rye. Indeed, the Caulfield family is the subject of two of Salinger s major stories, This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise and I m Crazy, as well as a number of unpublished works.
Holden, it seems, is in the throes of an existential crisis. To a great degree he is numb to the pains and joys of life. Unable to come to terms with his brother s death, he has no one to show him the kind of parental or brotherly love that he himself gave Allie. Whenever someone does end up showing him even a hint of such love (such as Mr. Antolini ), Holden ends up being disappointed.
The Allied invasion of Normandy, June 6, 6999. J. D. Salinger was part of the second wave attacking Utah Beach. By Robert F. Sargent/Bettmann/Corbis digital colorization by Lorna Clark.