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Example research essay topic: Catcher In The Rye Life Is A Game - 1,154 words

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The book Catcher in the Rye analyzes the relationships of a teenage boy and how these relationships affect him. As the book begins, Holden, a student recently thrown out of school, is starting a journey towards home, which transforms into a journey into the Adult World. Throughout the book, Holden describes indirectly the Adult World, as a society that is centered around money and that has lost all of the innocence once possessed as children. As Holden describes this world through his relationships with different people, he begins to see what his goal is in life, to become the metaphorical catcher in the rye. He envisions the catcher in the rye to be all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.

Thousands of little kids, and nobody s around nobody big, I mean except me. And I m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff-I mean if they re running and they don t look where they re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That s all I d do all day.

I d just be the catcher in the rye and all. Holden views the adult world very critically, and in his mind, if he can save the kids from falling over the edge into the adult world and it s ideals, than the children could have a real life instead of a phony one typical of most adults. The relationships that he has with adult men and especially with children affect the way that he views the world and also his views on life. Holden Caufield perceives the world as an evil place, and although his view does not change much in the novel, he gradually comes to the realization that he cannot change it. As Holden progresses to his eventual nervous breakdown in the end of the novel, his relationships with different groups become apparent to the reader. Holden does not really want to interact with any group of people because the relationships that form are eventually broken either by death in his brother Allie s case or by a friend just leaving in the case of Jane.

I d pretend that I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn t have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody. Even though he comes to realize that his interactions with people only lead to sorrow, he explores relationships with children, his peers and also adult males. His relationships with adult males are very important to the understanding of Holden s perception of the world. Holden views the adults as perverts, morons and screwballs. Only once did he question himself if an adult was any of these, and that was with Mr.

Antolini. When Holden was conversing with Antolini, he got the sense that Antolini understood where he was coming from, and accepted his opinion as a valid one, something no other adult had done to him without being phony. As Holden progresses in his relationship with Mr. Antolini and begins to accept him as an adult that hasn t lost all of his innocence, he wakes up to find Mr. Antolini stroking his hair. Holden s view that the world is full of perverts, morons and screwballs is reinstated immediately because of the perverted act of the only adult he had believed to have the values that children possess The children with whom Holden forms relationships, namely Phoebe his younger sister, are striving for success, which he notices in the carousel scene.

In this scene, Phoebe is trying to reach the gold bar that symbolizes the adult world. The golden ring is actually just a silver ring covered in brass, much like the adult world is fake or phony underneath, but looks good from the outside because of the brass covering. The constant efforts by the children to reach for the adult world lead to many failures and once some children reach it, they figure out that they are not ready. Holden s constant failure in school, which is supposed to serve as an introduction to change, illustrates that he is not ready for adult society. When Mr.

Spencer in the beginning of the book explains to Holden how life is a game and one must obey the rules, he is referring to the adult life, which Holden deeply dislikes. Later in the book when Holden envisions the children in the rye playing a game, he realizes that life is a game and that the rules are that children must grow up and advance into the adult society. When he finds the graffiti on the wall at school, he is acting as the catcher in the rye, which is his dream, by cleaning the wall off. He later comprehends that he can t erase all of the fuck you in the world after visiting a museum with engraved graffiti.

He comprehends that he can t save all of the children, and he begins to question himself of his conceptions of adult males in the book. He says later about the scene with Mr. Antolini that he wondered if just maybe I was wrong about thinking he was making a fifty pass at me. This is a great turning point in the book because Holden realizes that his judgments of adult males could be wrong, and although the book doesn t state it, he also grasps that Mr. Spencer may have been right, and life could be just a game. Through his relationships with adult males and with children, Holden comes to understand the way the world works and the role he is to play in it.

In the span of four days, Holden realizes his dream, understands that it will never work out, and has a nervous breakdown. His constant failure in school is a way of showing the world that he does not accept that he is becoming an adult. Without the introduction into the adult world, Holden is forced to deal with it all at once, which eventually drives him crazy. When Holden is watching Phoebe on the carousel and it begins to rain, he says, I got pretty soaking wet, especially my neck and my pants. My hunting hat really gave me quite a lot of protection, in a way, but I got soaked anyway. The hunting hat symbolizes the last effort by Holden to retain some of the children s values, which in a way would protect him from the adult world.

The rain on the other hand symbolizes the adult world, and finally it overwhelms him and he isn t protected fully anymore. This is the last climax in the book, and although the hunting hat protected some against the rain, it was inevitable that the game of life would go on.


Free research essays on topics related to: life is a game, holden describes, catcher in the rye, hunting hat, nervous breakdown

Research essay sample on Catcher In The Rye Life Is A Game

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