The Catcher in the Rye describes the path to maturity, and its failure, in an insipid male. Holden Caulfield, the main character, introduces himself very abruptly, immediately demonstrating to the reader his depressed, emotional position. Holden, indeed describes how he is the only person not attending the football game, showing the extent that he isolates himself from society. When Holden gets to Mr. Spencers house the reader ordure see that Mr. Spencer tries to help Holden do well in school, only if Holden refuses to accept his help, labeling Mr. Spencer as a faker.
The most revelation scene about Holdens character is when he describes to Phoebe that he expect to be a backstop in the rye whisky where children are playing in a field of rye which overlooks a cliff, and when they start to go over the cliff, he must catch them. The field of rye represents childhood and a childs innocence. Holden views adulthood as deteriorateing over a cliff, he actively denotes almost every adult as being phony. And thus Holden is protecting the childrens innocence. He demonstrates this by attempting to rub run into the graffiti in the school, but he realizes that he could neer rub off even half of all the obscenities in the world, and he is afraid that some kid will inform it to the children and that this will corrupt their innocence. However Mr. Antolini tries to help Holden avoid a fall that he is headed towards.
In a way Mr. Antolini is the catcher in the rye, however he tries to protect Holden from a fall that comes from not being able to mature, as opposed to a fall that comes as a result of maturity. This contradicts Holdens philosophy and shows the reader Holdens perspective on life is distorted.
Throughout the book,
Does Holden always live up to his criticisms of the adult world, or do his criticisms contain hypocrisy?
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