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What is the central/primary purpose of "The Catcher in the Rye"?Is the purpose...
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High School Teacher
"The Catcher in the Rye" is a coming of age story. It involves understanding the main character, Holden Caulfield's anxiety at becoming a young adult. Holden is challenged by the responsibility and requirements of a young adulthood, rejecting them time and again. He repeatedly fails out of school, won't apply himself and is emotionally isolated from his family and his peers.
Holden's story is a typical teenage story of the fear that dominates the mid to upper teen years, when young people are on the verge of adulthood, but still have one foot in childhood. For Holden, he does not want to fully step into adulthood, he struggles to find a way to make his way back into childhood, resisting growing up, as if it were possible to stop the process .
The book's title is a affirmation of Holden's dream job. He wants to be a "catcher in the rye," literally interpreted to mean standing at the edge of a field of rye where children play and stopping them from falling over the cliff out of the rye. Symbolically meaning, preventing children from losing the innocence that dominates childhood, keeping children safe from the phoniness of adulthood that Holden fears.
Holden's journey in the book leads him to a nervous breakdown, the physical and emotional exhaustion he experiences as a result of emotional confusion, his unwillingness to accept the inevitable, and suppressed grief over the death of his younger brother, Allie.
Posted by pmiranda2857 on February 4, 2009 at 7:59 AM (Answer #1)
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