At the beginning of the semester, I was looking through the syllabus and noticed that we were going to read The Catcher in the Rye. This made me pretty excited for the class since this is my favorite novel of all time. I know this book has been given enough praise in its lifetime but it deserves it. My favorite part about the book is that every single line in this novel is intricately placed. Everything in the story contributes something to the reader or another part of the book.
There is so much that the novel executes masterfully but one thing that I want to talk about is Holden’s tale of adventure. You can trace everything in the novel to Holden’s mono-myth styled adventure. There are many forms of mono-myth but it can be generalized into a few steps. Firstly, the protagonist experiences a call to adventure. This is an easy one, Holden’s extreme hate for his schoolmates, faculty and failing grades force him to run away and seek solace in New York City. Secondly, the main character would face harsh obstacles . There are plenty of these, including the fact that Holden could not socialize with anybody in New York City, the incident with the prostitute and the obscenities in the school and museum. The third step is the protagonist’s revelations and transformation for the better. This is towards the end of the novel when Holden submits to Phoebe’s wishes and does not run away permanently. The last part is the main character’s return to home, or the place where he was before the call to adventure. In Holden’s case, he tried to run away from the society he did not fit in and at the end it is clear that he returned to society. The mental institutions in which he wrote his story is the return to society. Considering that a mental institution’s goal is to help people conform to society, Holden definitely settled back in society.
It is always nice to discuss Catcher in the Rye and I plan to have fun with the respective assignment.