Essay: The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
He fantasizes to his young sister about him being
“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—I mean 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 and all.”(ibid 173)
He is trying to run away from the fact that he life is in a mess by comforting himself with childhood ambitions. He nevertheless acknowledges the fact that his ideas are crazy but he has no alternative. Holden decides to telephone Mr. Antolini, his former teacher in English who invites him to his house. As his former teacher is counseling him, he falls asleep on the couch only to wake up and find Antolini patting his forehead a gesture he considers homosexual alienated. This makes him to excuse in a hurry and leave.
Holden to look for his sister to tell her that he is going from home forever. When they meet at the museum, her sister is carrying clothes in a briefcase and she pleads with him to leave together. She cannot hold back her tears after he denies the proposal angrily, and she stops speaking to him. He moves to zoo clearly knowing that she is following him and takes her to the carousel. He gets her a ticket to ride the carousal, something that makes him as happy as he watches her that he almost sheds tears although it is raining heavily. (ibid 209)
Holden promises the reader that he would not say how he got sick but he will go back to school the coming fall as he sees a bright future lying ahead of him. Through Holden, the reader is able to see how the world is ugly and hypocritical. He has been expelled from school because of reasons he could have avoided and he finds himself in an almost unbearable situation. He criticizes the people around him but some of these criticisms are directed to him. He is aware that he has very many weaknesses and he sees everybody around him as such. He can be compared to a person who is standing on a cliff as he tries to separate childhood from adulthood. The fact that he has so much to handle leaves him on the verge of his emotional collapse. (ibid 212)