Thesis: In Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield expresses his emotions toward himself and the wor...

Get Started. It's Free
or sign up with your email address
Rocket clouds
Thesis: In Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield expresses his emotions toward himself and the world around him through his narration. He represents the voice of a teenager in such a way of importance because it shows a lot of people what it's like inside the mind of a young person facing depression. by Mind Map: Thesis: In Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield expresses his emotions toward himself and the world around him through his narration. He represents the voice of a teenager in such a way of importance because it shows a lot of people what it's like inside the mind of a young person facing depression.

1. Inner Thoughts

1.1. About People

1.1.1. "People always think that something's all true. I don't give a damn, except that I get bored sometimes when people tell me to act my age. Sometimes I act a lot older than I am - I really do - but people never notice it. People never notice anything." pg. 9

1.1.1.1. Holden builds a sense of what seems like disappointment in people around him throughout the novel. He's displeased with the people in his life in some situations. In other situations, he is simply pessimistic about why people do or say what they do.

1.1.1.2. He wants people to recognize him for how he acts. As a teenager, it is often seen that we are not taken as seriously as we'd like. Holden feels people don't notice when he tries to act mature, like a better human being than he is or than other people his age are.

1.1.2. "The thing is, it's really hard to be roommates with people if your suitcases are much better than theirs - if yours are really good ones and theirs aren't. You think if they're intelligent and all, the other person, and have a good sense of humor, that they don't give a damn whose suitcases are better.... It's one of the reasons I roomed with a stupid bastard like Stradlater. At least his suitcases were as good as mine." pg. 109

1.1.2.1. Teenagers love to feed off of the idea of putting stereotypes on people, mostly their owns peers. Holden uses suitcases as a way to say that some people are better than others, and that's how a lot of his peers view the people around them. Something as insignificant as a suitcases determines whether someone is cool or not, and that's very similar to the way teens today think.

1.1.3. "Nobody'd be different. the only thing that would be different would be you." pg. 21

1.1.3.1. Holden faces the knowledge of growing up as a teenager as he realizes that people grow and change, and he sees this through the museum as a source that stays still while everything else moves. The exhibits stayed the same, but the people visiting would change. People change, and that is something people realize as teenagers.

1.2. About Himself

1.2.1. "I swear to God, if I were a piano player or an actor or something and all those dopes thought I was terrific, I'd hate it. I wouldn't even want them to clap for me."

1.2.1.1. Holden hates the idea of people liking him. He makes it clear in this passage that he would hate it if people praised him, and infers that it would be despite any amount of talent he may have as a performer. He simply does not want the attention or the admiration from someone else, possibly because he thinks he doesn't deserve it.

1.2.2. "I felt so lonesome, all of a sudden. I almost wished I was dead." pg. 48

1.2.2.1. Holden begins to feel a sense of not wanting to be alive anymore, for reasons likely related to his failure in school and lack of ability to keep up good relationships with the people who likely mean a lot to him.

1.2.3. "I wasn't sleepy or anything, but I was feeling sort of lousy. Depressed and all." pg. 90

1.2.4. "...but I was feeling so depressed I didn't even think. That's the whole trouble. When you're feeling very depressed, you can't even think." pg. 91

1.2.4.1. Teenagers feeling depressed often face this type of feeling when they're have a day that really rattles their depression. It's hard to think, focus, or make smart decisions. It's hard to know the difference between good and bad or right and wrong. Holden's voice in this passage really shows how it feels to have a day such as his when facing something like depression, especially in a teenager.

1.3. Pessimist Toward the World

1.3.1. "People never believe you." pg 37

2. Social Life

2.1. Friends

2.1.1. "You take a very handsome guy, or a guy that thinks he's a real hotshot, and they're always asking you to do them a favor." pg 27

2.1.1.1. Holden is very judgemental and loves to place stereotypes on other people. Many teenagers today do this toward almost everyone they meet. Holden puts all "handsome guys" in the same category of "asking you to do them a favor", the same way a teen today would, for example, say all blondes are unintelligent.

2.2. Meeting New People

2.2.1. "But I certainly wasn't going to sit down at a table with old Lillian Simmons and that Navy guy and be bored to death. So I left." pg. 87

2.2.1.1. Holden, in particular, is a generally unsocial person when getting a chance to talk to someone if they invite him. Many teens feel this way, whereas many adults focus so much on being polite that they stop being unsocial in situations like these.

3. Desires, Wants, and Needs

3.1. Sexual

3.1.1. Curiousity

3.1.1.1. "If you want to know that truth, I'm a virgin. I really am. I've had quite a few opportunities to lose my virginity and all, but I've never got around it it yet. Something always happens." pg 92.

3.1.1.1.1. Many teen boys struggle with the idea of losing their virginity as soon as they realize they can. Holden's feelings toward being a virgin and wanting to experience this new thing in his life is not an unheard of reaction to sex. Many teens face these feelings in their young adult life.

3.1.1.2. "I was a little nervous. I was starting to feel pretty sexy and all, but I was a little nervous anyway." pg. 9

3.1.1.2.1. Upon his first encounter with a real chance to losing his virginity, Holden ends up feeling nervous more than excited. Being that this is his first real opportunity, it's common that he would be nervous and not as ready as he thought or wanted to be. This is a very common occurrence in teenagers.

3.2. Money

3.2.1. "...I'd made that date to go to the matinee with old Sally Hayes, and I needed to keep some of the dough for the tickets and stuff. I was sorry anyway, though. Goddam money. It always ends up making your blue as hell." pg. 113

3.2.1.1. Teenagers often will worry about money where worry is not needed. Teenagers are just as likely to be worried about money or to get depressed about money as adults are, and Holden's concerns through this passage explain that.

3.3. Romantic Tendencies

3.3.1. "That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are." pg. 73

3.3.1.1. Teenage boys who are really in love often feel this way when they see the girl they're in love with. Any teenager would feel this way. You forget where you are, what you're doing, and you lose track of what you were thinking. Holden's representation of a teenager in Catcher in the Rye goes further than just representing the depression and sexual curiosities, but he shows how it really feels to love a girl too.