1. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    Who is the antagonist in Catcher In The Rye?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by EBohio, Oct 24, 2018.

    I just found this forum and I hope this is an ok topic.

    I just thought it might be fun to those that like discussing these kind of things.
     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin We may just go where no-one's been.... Contributor

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    Society.

    ETA: of course, Holden Caulfield's life goal seems to be to become the whiniest douche ever, and in that regard he succeeds superlatively, so maybe there is no antagonist.

    Mission accomplished, Holden.
     
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  3. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    All of society or just parts of it. Remember he especially hates "phonies".
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    The reader? Or does it just feel that way.
     
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  5. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Contributor Contributor

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    No one. Holden's central conflict is with himself.
     
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  6. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    Are you saying that because YOU don't like Holden? When the book came out especially and still now, a lot of young people identified with him. That's why they like the book. He was definitely the hero for the reader so the reader would not be the antagonist.
     
  7. EBohio

    EBohio Banned

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    I can see why you say that since he is suffering from depression and depression is guilt turned inward, but that kid has a conflict with every adult (society) in the book.
     
  8. DeeDee

    DeeDee Contributor Contributor

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    Let's see who's been skipping lit class at school :D.
    Technically, Holden is his own antagonist since he is preventing himself from achieving his own goals. The phonies are not preventing him from anything. They just don't like each other. But it can also be viewed as man vs society book.
     
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  9. IaOoBMOT-Mike

    IaOoBMOT-Mike New Member

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    the "phonies", duh
     
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  10. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Contributor Contributor

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    Holden Caulfield.

    He's his own worst enemy.
     
  11. rockettomato2020

    rockettomato2020 New Member

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    I'd say it's Holden against the loss of childhood innocence. That part where he's in his sister's elementary school and someone has written an F U on the wall and he's super upset about it supports my point I think. (Hopefully I'm remembering this part right, it's been a while.)

    On some level Holden realizes and rejects that he's on his way to becoming a grown-up, a phony himself.

    Also I have the need to add that Catcher in the Rye really seems to be a love/hate book. I love it and think it's hilarious; other people not so much. Where do the ducks go in the winter?
     
  12. Vaughan Quincey

    Vaughan Quincey Member

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    A necrobanned thread?
    A necrothread from a banned ghost?
    Both?
    None?
    (I agree with others, I've always thought it was HC, not reading it again, ever...)
     
  13. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    People have said society, people have said himself. I think it's a bit of both.

    The kid is suffering from PTSD after walking in on his friend killing himself, and it's turned into a nihilist. He's going through an existential crisis because he's had to grow up so fast and finding out the world doesn't really care about him. That's the point, and the point of the metaphor of the 'catcher in the rye' - a reference to a Robbie Burns poem and the name of the book.

    When you look between the lines he's actually a good kid at heart, loves his sister a lot. It's just he's suffering with his own demons, doesn't know how to tell anyone (including the reader) and isn't getting the help he on some level knows he needs.
     

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