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Holdens Cry for help
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, 214 pages
Catcher in the Rye is a complicated book about a young man going through, what appears to be a nervous break down. This is a book about the boy’s negative self-talk, horrible outlook on life, and a life itself that seems to keep swirling down the toilet. He keeps trying to fill his life with something, but the reality of it is he doesn’t exactly now what he needs. It’s complicated to understand at parts, because all he does is think of things in the worst possible conditions.
Holden is the main character of the book. He is a complicated boy how seems to get thrown out of boarding schools left and right. He is constantly thinking about depressive thoughts of his past, like times he was with his brother, who is dead. His thoughts of his brother bring serious rage for some reason. In one instance he tells about the day after his brothers death, and Holden was filled with such anger and loneliness, he punched through all the glass doors in his garage. This required him to go to the hospital, and unfortunately his stay at the hospital forced him to miss his brothers funeral. He also keeps thinking about his old girl friend Jane. Holden is reminded of past times with her, where her father upset her, and Holden was the only one there to console her. So with that in mind, he thinks he still may have a place with her, and Holden believes that all his happiness will rest with her. Holden is just a guy who is searching for something to get him out of his depression, but he has no idea what it is, and above all how to get it.
The one thing that stands in the way of what Holden needs is himself. He continues to cut himself off from everything he had once loved. His negative self will not let him get close to anyone else, while trying to get distant from those he once was close with. Holden never looks to the positive side of anything. He is just stuck in a deep hole and he can’t find a way out. Whenever Holden believes that he has found something that could help him, he himself some how shuts the door to his own happiness.
Pond of which Holden keeps referring to is a very important. Holden keeps asking random people about the pond, and tells them about how they are gone during the winter. The pond itself is a symbol of Holden; the pond to him is like his own heart. During the summer, the pond is full of life and a fun place to be. Yet during the lonely and cold winter, the pond is cold, empty, and nothing looks like it will make through the winter alive. Without the pond, it is hard to compare what Holden is really feeling, and what things look like through his eyes. Holden is obviously telling these people what he is feeling, but no one seems to notice or care.
The main conflict throughout the book is Holden’s search for happiness. The only person he conflicts is with himself. There is a part of him that keeps fighting the part of him that is trying to reach out to others, and trying to gain some affection. Mind versus mind is the conflict, there isn’t any other conflict important to the plot other than that, and Holden can’t pick which side he wants to be on. He doesn’t know if he wants to just be depressed or try and to reach out to some on for his own happiness. Why he doesn’t try to find some light inside himself, no one doesn’t really know. The only thing you can conclude is the fact that it is beyond Holden’s control, and it must be something inside his own head, which is making him not be happy. So Holden chooses to stay in between, and he chooses to stay lost, and never really take charge in his own life.
The most important thing I learned about this book is how to cope with your stress. This novel is great in pointing out
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Literary realism, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden, J. D. Salinger, Peter Brock
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