Catcher in the Rye Essay

Catcher in the Rye Essay

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Catcher in the Rye is a classic tale by J.D. Salinger, originally published in the mid-20th century in 1951. It is a story that was originally intended for adults to read but over the years has become read by many adolescents, particularly because it features common themes that they experience such as alienation and teenage angst. The novel is a superficial critique on society and has been translated into many languages all over the world, with sales topping a million each year. The main protagonist of the novel, Holden Caulfield is an icon amongst teenagers and is looked up to for teenage rebellion. The novel deals with a lot of complex subject matter such as issues of identity, innocence, loss, belonging and connection.

In this article, we are going to provide you tips on how to write your very own essay on this wonderful novel. We will also include some catcher in the rye essays towards the end. You can look through a catcher in the rye essay sample and pick out what works best in the essay. By the end, you will be much better equipped to write an authoritative essay on this novel.

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Catcher in the rye writing tips

Reading the prompt and understanding your question

The most critical stage in any essay writing is the beginning. It’s important to identify the type of essay from the get go. Once you can read and understand your question, highlight the keywords in its to focus your attention.

Choose a topic wisely

After establishing what the question requires, you can then go on to choose a relevant topic to write about. If the question asks about a theme or character, which will you choose? Take a moment to brainstorm, sit down and jot some thoughts. Think about anything that is relevant and collect your ideas to form the base of the plan.

Write an outline

Before you start, it’s important to create the outline. A lot of students make the mistake of just diving straight into an essay and seeing what happens, usually desperate to finish. It is a very bad idea not to plan. Planning will help you focus your ideas and make your writing more coherent, so that it flows and keeps the reader engaged. It’s important to think about the introduction, body and your conclusion. In the body you will want to have at least three main ideas, so jot down the points that you will expand upon in your outline.

Creating a thesis statement

Every essay will have a topic, but you need to tell the audience the purpose of your particular essay. By reading through your outline, you can create one thesis statement. This thesis statement should sum up your work and present the main argument or idea of your essay. This statement is important because you will want to refer to it several times within your essay and then restate it within the conclusion.

The introduction

Writing the introduction is all about putting the thesis statement in and arousing attention from the audience. Begin with a hook or information, such as he wrote the novel and why it became so successful. It’s important to get off to a good start and make sure you keep the introduction as concise as possible.

Writing a conclusion

It is vital that you do not include any information that you haven’t discussed in the body within the conclusion. It is the conclusion that gives you the chance to sum up and present a brief or executive summary of the topic. This skill is to be concise and to summarise any arguments in a way that can be easily digested. You will want to refer to the thesis statement and reinstate it within the conclusion.

Editing your work

Before you hand in your work, it is vital to proof read and edit correctly. There’s no point in submitting it as fast as you can if there are some schoolboy errors that will ruin everything for you. Ensure that you have used the correct formatting and that the strongest points appear within the first paragraph of the essay’s body. Reread everything to see if it flows correctly a tip you can use is to read it out loud and see if you ever struggle. Last but not least, it’s important to do a final check on grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Example essays

The themes of the Catcher in the Rye

J.D. Salinger produced a brilliant novel in the mid-20th century that encapsulated teenage rebellion and was a sincere hit amongst both teenagers and adults. The novel features the main protagonists, Holden Caulfield who poses as an icon for teenagers today. One of the best things that makes this novel shine are the themes within it.

Several themes in Salinger’s piece play a major part on the story’s protagonist. One can understand what the characters are going through by looking at the themes.. All of the themes in the novel helps the reader to understand the individual values and motivations of characters.

The Catcher in the Rye deals predominantly with the theme of innocence. Holden can see his innocence as valuable and the quality that he wants to remain in him as he grows up. One can cease holding struggling as he grows up because he witnesses adulthood as cruel. It is up for debate as to whether Holden and his attitude have changed by the end of the novel. On one hand he may have not matured and on the other he could have accepted that his adolescence was just a phase. Whatever the case, the characters that Holden appreciates in the novel are liked by him because he thinks they are innocent too. For example, he thinks of Jane Gallagher as a young girl and not as a mature person. Holden has prided himself on the novel on his innocence and wants to protect the innocence of children too. One can despair when he confronts Jane about sexual matters and you can see how this ties in with the theme of innocence in the novel.

Another major fame, death, is all too common in the novel. There are many reminders of death throughout, manifested as symbols, e.g. when Holden’s parents become sick or the death of Allie. One can also think of the innocence of children as they transition from children to adolescents to adults as a sort of death. Holding it becomes frustrated by biological change and he wants to resist it. He wishes for a time where everybody could remain carefree and innocent and he doesn’t cherish the future. It is an unfortunate case that Holden and his character become mad by the end and anxieties manifest, essentially creating the death of a character. Other parts of the death theme include Holden’s wondering of what happens when one ceases to exist. The character narrates about innocence and death both in a literal sense, i.e. biological death and in the death of childhood.

All throughout the novel, alienation strikes as a key theme. One can only look at Holden who uses his alienation to cope with the world. He feels that if he protects himself with alienation, he won’t need to feel excluded from any part of reality. As he becomes alienate it, he won’t need to worry about finding his way around in the world because he won’t be a part of it. One can look at the symbol of Holden’s hunting hat which expresses his individualism and his desire to be excluded from society in general. As the novel progresses, the reader can see how Holden acts in that alienating and cynical manner to cope with the world around him which confuses and overwhelms him.

It is clear that Holden is very scared of growing up and the transition between youth and adult hurt. Moreover, he does not want to accept the idea of growing up and this idea being a key part of life. He does not understand the world as other people do it because he does not itself acknowledge that he has a fear of change. The world that Holden sees is very complex and devastating for him. He would prefer to live in a simple way and be innocent throughout the rest of his life. Is this theme of growing up in transition which is very strong and runs deep within the novel. Holden’s fantasy world is explains as he says that he wants to be the “ catcher in the Rye” – to hold and this is a field where children may fall off a cliff and he is the one who will catch them. It is a metaphor and assemble of transition and Holden’s apparent wish to stop people growing up.

All of the themes in this wonderful and angsty story paints a sincere picture of adolescence. The protagonist has long lasting connections with many people today, both adults and children.The themes are central to the appreciation of this novel and Salinger’s themes create vivid pictures in the audience’s mind. It is unsurprising that this novel has echoed through the ages and that it has so much appeal all over the world.

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How Holden’s character changes throughout the novel

Within Salinger’s incredible piece, the Catcher in the Rye, the struggle between a teenage boy and adolescence is told in a brilliant manner that has echoed through the ages. Holden Caulfield, the central protagonist of the novel, has often been dubbed as the original surly teenager. Throughout the novel, we can see how Holden’s character changes as time goes on. It is unsurprising that his character has lived on ever since the book was published in the mid-20th century.

Holden finds ample opportunities to rescue other people, but he never tries to better himself. As an example, one can see that the way he respects women is by telling girls that he is going to go too far and that he stops because he feels sorry for them. As another progresses, Holden encounters a prostitute character and he is pitiful – he does not want to have any sexual doings with her. The reader can see that the way Holden treats women shows how he’s trying to save their sexual purity, but this does not help Holden in any way. As he “saves” such women, he never loses his own virginity.

Another example of Holden helping others other than himself is with his little sister. When Phoebe says that she is not going to go back to school, Holden insists that she has to. Even though he quit school and rinse his own life, he does not want Phoebe to follow in the same destructive way. He saves his sisters opportunities whilst failing to secure his own.

Arden has a great desire to rescue his sister and as betrayed as that great rescuer throughout the whole novel. His selfless acts are always evident, for instance when Phoebe inquires what he would like to do in his life – Holden explains that he really wants to become a catcher in the Rye, i.e. he wants to save people from falling off a cliff, the cliff relating to the children’s innocence. He is always wanting to rescue Phoebe and other children because he thinks that the innocence and purity of a child’s life should surpass everything else. It is ironic because he gives up saving his own purity, believing that it has all been lost. Different fantasies that Holden has completely consumes him and one can see his demise throughout the novel. It is his selfless acts that make him into the person he is.

As the novel progresses, Holden doesn’t want to rescue himself. He begins to believe that he is not pure himself, so he gives up and acts in a despondent manner. This attitude carries on right till the end of the novel. What can be said of this? It is clear that Holden has not changed at the end of the novel and this ties in with his desire for others not to change and become adults. As Holden continues to rescue others, he fails to understand that it is in fact himself that needs to be rescued.