In Catcher in the Rye, author, J.D. Salinger portrays that Holden's outlook on life
always has him finding every negative aspect, comparing one person from another, and exhibiting idealistic views on life. Catcher in the Rye reveals that when the main character, Holden, has negative idealistic views on the outcome of life, it can lead to unrealistic expectations of society. Throughout the novel, Salinger illustrates the negative consequences of idealism, that can lead to impractical expectations of how Holden may view the world, causing his idealistic views to unravel.
Salinger utilizes Holden's complete ideal of saving childhood innocence, viewing the world with corruption and immorality of adulthood, precisely highlighting the past. As Holden has these unrealistic ideals to try and purify others, such as Phoebe and Allie's outlook on society, he puts pressure on himself to have a subjective perspective on how people are choosing to live. Holden makes the reader believe situations are everyone's fault but his own. When people do not choose to live through Holden's ideal view of life, he is quick to judge, by calling them "phonies" (Salinger 48). Although Holden tries to savor innocent life, he may be the one who is dragging it down, ruining relationships, not being invited to things because in his eyes, "they were too ignorant" (95). While Holden has these opinions on people , it also affects his view of the world; portraying everything to be pessimistic, with no hope for anything good to come.
Holden wants to remember his younger sister, Phoebe the way she was in his childhood, with the innocence of youth still in tact. As he remembers her innocent bliss, he strives to keep it that way, "[he thinks] how Phoebe and all of the other.. kids would see" the "f**k you" on the pure stalls (264). Holdens aspiration is to protect Phoebe from losing her innocence from the harsh realities of society. Phoebe pushes Holden into growing up, she sees his idealistic ideas, and wants him to turn them from unrealistic to concord.
Holden's brother, Allie's image will always be perfect in Holden's eyes, and that will never change. Holden will always idealize Allie as the compassionate brother and innocent persona he was. Holden uses Allie's memory and regards him as a symbol of youth and its enduring, unadulterated state, idealizing him to an almost godlike status. He talks to him in a prayer like tone "out loud,…[he] does that...when [he] gets... depressed" he knows Allie he won't change and he values the character he remembers him as (129). Stradlater utilizes the death of Allie to give Holden peace of mind in which, his brother will always be the pure character Holden idealizes him out to be. Throughout the entire novel, Holden implies that as long as he can talk to Allie, he believes he is always there. Although that may sound like a good thing, this can cause life to diminish, as he has unrealistic views on characters in the life he is living now.
As Holdens has a negative outlook on life, placing titles on everyone he sees, idolizing what he says he wants, he never acts upon his hopes. Holden has a negative perspective of life, placing titles on everyone he sees, idolizing what he says he wants, and unrealistic outlooks on the freezing of time to prevent the loss of innocence. This gives a very unrealistic and depressing feeling when these ideal views cannot be conquered. Salinger employs Holdens negative outlook on life, causing him to lose the things he may have not even realized he wanted or needed.
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