J. D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye is a well-known coming of age story. It has also caused controversy because of its sexual content and use of profanity. What are the themes of The Catcher in the Rye, and how does the main character, Holden Caulfield, react to the world around him?
The main character, Holden Caulfield, suffers from mental health issues.
"Where do the ducks go when the pond freezes over?"
Holden Caulfield frequently asks this question to avoid his problems.Explore
Holden Caulfield is depressed
Holden Caulfield displays multiple symptoms of depression.Explore
The Catcher in the Rye is about death
An overarching theme of The Catcher in the Rye is death, both in terms of Holden's mourning over his brother's death and his own suicidal thoughts.
Holden Caulfield is still grieving over the death of his younger brother, Allie.Explore
Holden Caulfield's suicidal thoughts
Holden displays intense emotion and turbulent behavior throughout the novel, suggesting he is deeply discontented and depressed. As a result, he routinely says that he must commit suicide and often fantasizes about it.Explore
The Catcher in the Rye is about innocence and childhood
Throughout the book, Holden tries to protect the innocence of those around him.
Holden Caulfield is worried about the innocence of his childhood friend, Jane Gallagher.Explore
Holden Caulfield tries to protect the innocence of his younger sister, Phoebe.Explore
The Catcher in the Rye is about sexuality
Holden Caulfield has a complex relationship to his sexuality.
Holden Caulfield has a questionable encounter with his former teacher, Mr. Antolini.Explore
Holden Caulfield hires a prostitute
In chapter 13, Holden accepts an offer from an elevator operator to have a prostitute sent to his hotel room. Before she arrives, Holden contemplates his history of failed sexual experiences. When he is unable to have sex, he gets angry and frustrated and blames Sunny for making him depressed.Explore
Holden Caulfield's sexuality is a notable theme in The Catcher in the Rye
Throughout the Catcher in the Rye Holden Caulfield is struggling with his sexuality and has trouble establishing physical relationships. He is unable to clearly differentiate between the emotional responses related to being intimate and having sex.Explore
The Catcher in the Rye is about morality
Holden is constantly concerned with the morality of those around him.
Everyone is a phony
Holden Caulfield is disgusted with the fakeness of society.Explore
This page was last edited on Monday, 30 Mar 2020 at 10:02 UTC