Young men have to deal with all these emotions, girls, puberty, and school. Most would say this is a huge factor for young men and how they grow up. We see this character named Holden Caulfield, experience this though his journey of becoming a man. A variety of themes occur from J. D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye. ” Holden is dealing with grieving from losing someone and trying to find his purpose in life. Three themes that occur the most throughout Holden’s story include loneliness, love, and phoniness. Loneliness can be described as someone feeling sorrow, sad, and worthless.
Holden feels this more than anyone can imagine during the book. He especially feels down about himself when Phoebe gives him all of her Christmas money that she had saved. This leads into the part of the book where Holden leaves Phoebe, and decides to go talk to his old English teacher, Mr. Antolini. While Holden is talking to him, Mr. Antolini said to him “I have a feeling that you’re riding for some kind of terrible, terrible fall…. The whole arrangement’s designed for men who, at some time or another in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn’t supply them with….
So they gave up looking (Salinger 32). ” Holden immediately starts to think about what he did after Phoebe gave him her money. He bursted out crying in tears which is when the reader can see he is sad and is critically unstable. In addition, Holden feels worthless when he is talking about his siblings. He is in the nightclub at his hotel thinking to himself about whether to call his sister or not. That thought makes him think about how worthless he is compared to his siblings. “My brother D. B. ‘s a writer and all and my brother Allie, the one that died, that I told you about, was a wizard.
I’m the only really dumb one (Salinger 75). ” Feeling lonely and worthless are very hard emotions to deal with. Luckily for Holden he can deal with these emotions by talking to different people he meets along the way of his journey. Innocence can be described as someone in a state of mind that is childish, acting young, and portraying guiltiness. As the reader finds themselves far into the book, they start to realize more about Holden and how innocent he can be. Holden calls a prostitute up to his hotel room because he finally wants to lose his virginity and become a man.
When Holden is alking to Sunny who is the prostitute he blurts out that he is a virgin. “If you want to know the truth, I’m a virgin. I really am. I’ve had quite a few opportunities to lose my virginity and all, but I’ve never got around to it yet (Salinger 103). ” After saying this the reader can truly see Holden’s innocence. Also another part of the book the reader can see how innocent Holden is, when he starts to talk about how much the Museum of Natural History means to him. “I get very happy when I think about the Museum of Natural History. Even now (Salinger 133). ” Holden is overloaded with these nostalgia memories and innocent times.
Phoniness can be described as someone who is not genuine and fake in the way they carry themselves. Holden consistently deals with phony people throughout the book. For example, when Holden is talking to Mr. Antolini, he hints at how much he hates the word phony and people who are phony. “There’s a word I really hate. It’s a phony. I could puke every time I hear it (Salinger 12). ” Furthermore Holden always is complaining about something. This time he is complaining about how he hates ministers and how they sound phony. “I don’t see why the hell they can’t talk in their natural voice.
They sound so phony when hey talk (Salinger 112). ” Holden is already dealing with all these emotions as a teenager and on top that he thinks a lot of people are phony. In conclusion, Holden portrays the emotions of a typical teenager as they mature. He quickly learned that in life many people can feel lonely, struggle to find true love and connect with people that are sincere. He tries to discover his purpose in life by aimlessly wandering through New York City. Along the way he learns countless life lessons that will change his life forever. Ultimately, he ends up in a mental hospital still trying to find his purpose in life.