Catcher In The Rye- Setting Essay, Research Paper
The Catcher in the Rye
Many times in literature, the setting is particularly significant to the novel in
terms of plot, themes, or characters. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger,
takes place in 1950 New York City. The main character, Holden Caulfield, got
expelled from school and goes into the city for a few days before returning home.
He spent his time dealing with his feelings about growing up. The setting is
significant to this story because it supports the theme of Holden trying to grow
up, it brings out a more insecure, childish side to him, and it is part of the reason
for his negative feelings about the world.
The setting of the novel is key to the theme of Holden growing up. Holden
was able to get into nightclubs and bars despite the fact that he was a minor. He
had easy access to prostitutes and his own hotel room, which are traits of being
in the city. He also spent a lot of time travelling around the city on his own, which
brought about an independent feeling. Furthermore, he spent many days just
basically taking care of himself without anyone knowing where he was. These
little parts of the setting inspired a feeling of self-sufficiency in Holden.
The setting of this novel brought out an insecure, childish side of Holden.
He seemed to digress at times and instead of acting independent, he became an
insecure child. This happened when the pimp and the prostitute took his five
dollars. Instead of getting up and sucking it up, he started crying like a child.
Also, he began to act like a child while he was walking down the street. He
started talking to his dead brother and pretending that the streets were about to
collapse beneath him, as if it were a child’s game.
The setting of this book is also part of the reason the Holden had negative
feelings about the world. He sees the world as a harsh, cold place, and living in
the city was part of that. The city was a harsh environment, especially for
someone like Holden who was growing up and dealing with his feelings and
didn t have anyone to console him. Again, when the pimp took his money and
Holden was left crying by himself; it was an example of how the city can be harsh
and unforgiving. Holden recognized this harshness and turned his back on the
world because of it.
In The Catcher in the Rye, the setting was very important. It brought out
Holden’s insecure, childish side. The setting played an important role in causing
Holden to have the negative feelings that he did about the world. Finally, it was
crucial to Holden having his feelings of independence and of being grown-up.
The setting dealt with all of these aspects of the book. Had it been set in a
different time and place, the outcome would have been much different.