ReligionIn the "The Catcher in the Rye" there were a lot of references about religion from his "goddams" and "Chrissakes" to Ackley's religion on page 65 to his views on the disciples. What is...

Religion

In the "The Catcher in the Rye" there were a lot of references about religion from his "goddams" and "Chrissakes" to Ackley's religion on page 65 to his views on the disciples. What is Salinger purpose of those references?

Asked on by spemery

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e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

We might take these references to be an attempt at creating a motif of suffering that relates Holden Caulfield, superficially, to Christ. 

Holden certainly does some suffering in the novel, even if it is not noble suffering.  His terminology betrays his lack of self-control and emotional control as well as communicating his overwhelmed emotional state.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

Perhaps Salinger's purpose is to illustrate a total lack of any type of personal faith system for these characters. They casually throw around expletives, and even though religion is brought up, no one seems to be guided in their life choices by their religion or even a personal faith system. How different would Holden's life be if he had a personal faith philosophy system?

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

It may be argued that this is more non-religion than religion references...a lack of Christian belief.  However, pro-Catcher fans would argue that Holden is a sort of Christ figure (profanity aside) since his dream is to save the children of the world from a point of no return (adulthood=Hell).  The profanity and amoral lifestyle is the only way appeal to the children and get their attention.  Without his language and behavior, Holden Caulfield would not be the same engaging character.

 

akkoyunlu1's profile pic

akkoyunlu1 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

It is obvious that Holden believes in religion. However as the king of the phoniness and as an atheist as he calls himself, and also the the father of the condariction he doesnt want to show that he believes. The reason why Salinger did like this ı dont know fo course but ı have the idea of he did this on purpose to show that people shouldnt discuss or categorize others because children never do that.

And also there may be the idea of death because Holden is affected by Allie's and James Castle's death and this might make him not to believe and in the other hand he loves Allie so much. So he believes because he thinks that if he believes, Allie is going to be in heaven.

 
 

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