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Catch in the Rye

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Holden is a complex person with many conflicting characteristics. He has many ambitions and desires for his life but he is faced with the basic conflict in the story, corruption. This corruption is what drives him and at the same time restricts him Holden’s being surrounded by corruption disgusts him. There are a few main instances in which Holden encounters corruption directly. One type is Stradlater, the “secret slob”or Ernie, who “performs for the people”. Two that affect Holden very much is his brother D.B. “selling out” to the movies and Pheobe eventually having to grow up. This corruption is very evident in Holden’s life and situation.

Artist: Alexandra Dunham

Corruption is what Holden wants to avoid but cannot because he wants to grow up and act like an adult. Drinking, ordering the prostitute, and using money are all things that grownups do but Holden yet still wants to remain innocent. These are few of the obvious ironies of Holden’s personality. Holden’s utter hate for the fact that we have to grow up and how he ties adulthood with corruption just shows how he has a large problem determining illusion from reality. He doesn’t understand that to grow does not mean to become corrupt but to become wiser through experience. These experiences are what frighten Holden because this boy of sixteen has already been involved in many of the pleasures and problems that come from these experiences. Holden’s “catcher in the rye” analogy shows how he wants to save the children from this corruption but he never will. Holden wants to be the great savior of a helpless cause and does not realize he has fallen into the evil hands of corruption. Holden idolizes Allie is little brother who died.

The reason for this idolization is that Allie will never become corrupt. He will always be in Holden’s mind a little boy not affected by the dirty hands of society. Pheobe, on…...

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