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The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye

  

by J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye Themes

The Catcher in the Rye Themes

Innocence

(Click the themes infographic to download.) Holden is a sex maniac. Trust him: he says it himself. But… really? The boy’s a virgin, and he can’t even bring himself to have sex with a prostit...

Mortality

(Click the themes infographic to download.) You’d expect a seventeen-year-old boy to be a lot more interested in sex than death, but… not Holden. Can you blame him? His younger brother died of...

Youth

(Click the themes infographic to download.) Holden loves kids, but not in a creepy way. Really. He just thinks they’re cute little bundles of hilarious innocence: genuine, caring, and naturally...

Isolation

(Click the themes infographic to download.) If we had a dollar for every time our parents told us to just wait until we got to college, and then we’d find all kind of people to be friends with,...

Sexuality and Sexual Identity

(Click the themes infographic to download.) We can’t tell if Holden would be the kid in our class sneaking in his dad’s Playboy (do dads even subscribe to Playboy anymore?) or the one telling...

Sadness

(Click the themes infographic to download.) Let’s do some word counting: variations of “depressed” or “depressing” occur 41 times in Catcher in the Rye. “Happy”? Five. As in, you can...

Wisdom and Knowledge

(Click the themes infographic to download.) If you asked Holden, he’d probably agree that everything he needed to know he learned in kindergarten. To him, institutional education is nothing more...

Lies and Deceit

(Click the themes infographic to download.) Let’s do another word count (see “Sadness” for our first one): variations of “phony” occur 47 times in Catcher in the Rye. That’s a lot. Tru...

Madness

(Click the themes infographic to download.) Is Holden crazy? Catcher in the Rye begins with a seventeen-year-old Holden Caulfield telling his own story of a year earlier, with mentions of his havi...

Religion

(Click the themes infographic to download.) The Catcher in the Rye treats religion much the same way as it does education. There may be an intrinsic value to it, but who can tell? It's been ruined...

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