The Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, struggles to find his place in life. As an adolescent, he finds no good left in the adult world that soon will face him. Throughout his struggles, he realizes that people are nothing more than phonies, money worshipers, and egocentrics. People in the world become satisfied with money and material objects, while Holden finds anger in such things. Although it is hard to see, he does find happiness in his fight for life.
Unlike most teens, Holden finds happiness in things that warm the heart such as service, literature, and family. One day, Holden was at a dinner and saw two nuns. He struck a conversation with them and realized how great it was that these two ladies spent their entire lives doing service work. In his search for reason Holden does not realize what he needs is to be like the nuns. He needs to learn that he could be very happy if he would find a job to help people. Every person Holden feels affection for, he feels the need to protect them, just like the catcher in the rye.
For example, when Stradleter takes Jane out for a date, Holden is very protective over Jane because he cares for. He likes protecting people. After the date, Holden and Stradleter are fighting, and he tells Stradleter, “You do not even know if her first name is Jane or Jean, ya goddam moron! ” (Salinger 44). Holden disapproves of people using girls so he fights for Jane, even though he knows he will lose. Fighting for people and doing what is right makes Holden happy. Also, Holden discovers happiness in literature and writing.
Again, when he meets the nuns in the diner, Holden talks to them about Romeo and Juliet forever. Literature is on of the few things he can communicate to with and through. When Stradleter asks Holden to write a composition essay for him, he accepts, not because he likes Stradleter, but because he enjoys writing. It had taken Holden only one hour two write a descriptive paper. Also, English was the only class that Holden passed at Pency Prep. All in all, Holden has a liking for English and it helps him through his struggles. Last but defiantly not least, Holden’s family can not be forgotten.
Phoebe, Holden’s little sister is the biggest and most helpful influence on his success at the end of the novel. Phoebe brings him happiness. Although she is only ten years of age, Phoebe is there through it all. If Phoebe was not there, Holden would have fallen of the cliff. Phoebe is Holden’s Catcher in the Rye. Holden can always talk to her about things that nobody else can. They have a certain kind of communication. Coming from the same family, they have been through the same tough times, and Phoebe knows where Holden comes from when he talks about all of his crazy ideas.
In all of the crazy things Holden has been through in his journey, Phoebe has been there to help. Also, Holden had lost a brother a while ago, and it has been tough on Holden, but he finds comfort in thinking about his brother, Allie. Holden carries around his baseball glove and constantly thinks about him. Allie too helps Holden get through his struggle to find life. Without family, Holden would be lost and probably would have fallen off the cliff if his Catchers’ in the Rye would have not been there.