The theory of individualism - Essay Example

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The theory of individualism

The Catcher In The Rye’s protagonist, Holden Caufield, practiced individualism because he disagreed with the culture in his mainstream society. He was successful only in the sense of being able to express his individualism in words and actions. Holden has been made a symbol of American individualism of his time. Salinger used him as a mouthpiece to voice his contemporary society’s social issues like the gradual diminishing of the parental control in the family.The Catcher In The Rye is about Holden’s coming of age in his society. As such, he questioned himself as well as others in his new maturity. He made a big fuss when there was nothing much to complain about. He has mistakenly refused to pass through his transition from childhood to adulthood because he wanted to hang on to innocence. It is difficult to believe that Holden, who used profanity profusely, would be that shocked to see profanity written on the toilet walls at Phoebe’s school. Critics have also questioned the purity of the sibling relationship between Holden and Phoebe. It is difficult to believe that a rather mixed up individual can love his sister more than himself. This can be read as a hint that those who try to be selfless in loving others will feel isolated and rejected so much that sanity is challenged. Holden’s mistake was in searching for his self-identity apart from his society. He was a dreamer who refused to accept responsibility for his actions. Salinger had also shown us how not to live the life of Holden Caulfield. ...Show more


The Catcher In The Rye’s protagonist, Holden Caufield, practiced individualism because he disagreed with the culture in his mainstream society. He was successful only in the sense of being able to express his individualism in words and actions. …
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