J.D Salinger The Catcher In The Rye explores many concepts and dichotomies through the experiences of holden Caulfield, a adolescent struggling with the reality of life. J.
D. Salinger’s characterization of holden changes throughout the novel as certain events change holden’s view on certain subjects and leads to a change of heart. Interactions with other characters such as phoebe who give more context to his character and challenges him in a way to think deeper of his view and philosophy. holden is introduced as the narrator, and builds up his character through his narration and his use of language. Holden’s first sentence is IF YOU REALLY WANT HEAR……. And counters his sentence with “I don’t feel like getting in to it” (1) Through analysis we can see holden dislikes his family he feels depressed because he thinks the world is unfair which opens a door for the reader into what holden is like throughout the story, although this does not reveal specifics on his resentment towards the world, it dies tell us he resent his situation.Phoebe is holden’s intellectual sister who he loves dearly,for her age she is mature and respectful, she listens to what holden has to say and teases him for his immaturity.Phoebe is his only constant source of enjoyment and happiness and one of the only character he puts in good light, once we hear her side of the story.
we trust her interpretation of holden and our trust for the narrator diminishes .phoebe in some way is used to characterize holden.We learned that holden anger towards the profanity written on the wall of the school is the fact his little sister is exposed to such profanity “But while I was sitting down someone written fuck you on the wall it drove me damn near crazy”(Salinder 201)because of his tragic experiences and his Lost of innocence he wants to preserve her innocence,but the irony is phoebe is already mature for her age after learning this holden’s view changed and accepts to let her grow up.Holden’s character and views change through the progress of the plot.Throughout the story holden is characterized as depressed, thinking the world is unfair.His Mis interpretation of “catch a body coming through the rye”is one of the reasons he thinks people are phonies and why preserving innocence or preserving his sister innocence is a top priority.As certain events unfold holden develops as a character and finally accepts adulthood.