Abstract: The Catcher in the Rye is a story of the protagonist Holden’s experience in school and in the world of the adult. Living in a world without love and warmth, Holden decides to be a catcher, guiding the children and protecting them from being hurt. This paper, by analyzing his rebellion against the authority in the school and the hypocrisy in the adult’s world, aims to dissect Holden’s adolescent psychology and his secret longings. It concludes that Holden’s rebellion is his attempt to protect the child’s innocence and his yearning for a pure world.
Key words: Holden; The Catcher in the rye；rebellion
This novel, narrated by sixteen-year-old Holden, superficially recalling the three-day wanderings in New York after he is expelled from the Pencey Middle School before Christmas, depicts the depression and bewilderment of the middle-class and the ugliness and hypocrisy of the American society in the postwar as well.
Holden appears in the novel as a sensitive and kind middle-class teenager. He sees the hypocrisy, mean and indifference in the adults’ world. What he has seen drives him to despair and disillusion, which penetrates the whole novel. In Holden’s view, childhood is the best time of life. He gets love and warmth from his younger sister, which he can never feel in the adult world. Holden painfully finds that children’s world is constantly violated by the adults. Hence he volunteers to be “the catcher in the rye”, and to become the patron saint of children.
Outwardly, Holden is a cynical teenager, sensitive, anxious, impulsive and rebellious. He disobeys the rules and regulations and tries to run counter to the wishes of the adults. He has clear judgments on good and evil and never hides his different view. He is disgusted with the “hypocrisy of the hypocrites”, incompatible with everything in the capitalist society. But inwardly Holden is a pure, fragile and lonely boy, adhering to the principles of his own. His desire is simple and sincere. He is determined to be the catcher, guiding the children and protecting them from being polluted. Though his rebellion reflects his adolescent psychology to a certain degree, what he thinks and does reveals his longing for a purer world....