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A Catcher in the Rye: The Monomyth by Haley Smith

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S: Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger

FC: The Catcher in the Rye By J.D Salinger The Monomyth by Haley Smith

1: Call to Adventure The Call to Adventure is the situation that presents itself to a hero that inclines him to go on a journey to seek the answer or purpose of something. The story begins as Holden Caulfield, the main character, is in the process of being kicked out of his school for flunking his classes (Salinger 13). He starts out as a college kid who is hurting deep down and doesn't take what he does seriously, partially because he doesn't know what to do with himself. He's very unsure about life and little does he know that he's supposed to make this journey to discover more about himself and what he's supposed to do with his life.

2: Refusal to the Call Refusal to the call can be defined as when a hero has an opportunity for an adventure or journey to better themselves in the long run, but they refuse this call due to fear of change. Holden subconsciously refuses this call to better himself by "lingering" at the school when they've already notified him that he's been kicked out (Salinger 50). He stays in his room and instead of packing he messes around with his roommates, who he INSISTS he can't stand.

3: Supernatural Aid Supernatural aid is explained as an old man, god/goddess, or messenger who gives the hero a useful tool, whether it be an object or piece of knowledge. In this novel, Holden's supernatural aid is Mr. Spencer, his old history teacher. Mr. Spencer expresses a great concern for Holden's future as he says, "I'd like to put some in that head of yours, boy. I'm trying to help you. I'm trying to help you, if I can." (Salinger 14) Holden doesn't pay much attention to his advice now, but little does he know how much it will aid him later on.

4: Crossing the First Threshold Crossing the first threshold is when the hero leaves what he knows and is comfortable with for the new world filled with mystery and danger. Holden crosses the threshold just by leaving Pencey Prep. He states," I stood for a while next to the stairs and took a last look down the goddamn corridor. I was sort of crying" (Salinger 52-53). This shows his true fear of leaving what he knows behind, because deep down he's scared and worried about what awaits him when he gets to where he's going.

5: The Belly of the Whale When a hero enters the "belly of the whale' they find themselves facing darkness or a dark time by themselves. Holden experiences this when he gets to New York City. It was night time and as Holden says, "I wasn't sleepy or anything, but I was feeling sort of lousy. Depressed and all. I almost wished I was dead." (Salinger 90). At this point Holden is stuck in a rut. He can't go back to Pencey because they won't accept his return due to the class failures, but he doesn't want to go home and have his mom and dad look at him as a failure for the third time. He truly can't go backwards at this point in his life, but he's definitely not mentally ready to move forward, be a man, and face what is to come once he gets home.

6: The Road of Trials A hero's Road of Trials is basically anything they go through after they emerge from the "Belly of the Whale" all the way to their "Apotheosis".Holden's road of trials included many things but the three events that stood out to me were when he had his encounter with he prostitute, when he meets up with sally and realizes somethings not right with him, and when he meets up with his little sister Phoebe. The prostitute made Holden realize he wasn't even emotionally stable for having sex (Salinger 95) while his encounter with Sally showed him he was in "lousy shape" based on the way he treated her (Salinger 131). Meeting with Phoebe made him realize he should think about coming home soon and getting help so he could get his life back on track (Salinger 165).

7: Meeting with the Goddess Meeting with the Goddess in the hero's journey is when he or she meets a woman of the new world that could be beautiful, represent a motherly figure, or be a queen. This woman brings some kind of fullness to the hero's character. In this book, Holden's goddess was his little sister Phoebe. While he didn't meet up with her until closer to the end of the book, the thought of her kept him on track in a subconscious way.She's always on his mind whether he thinks into it or not (Salinger 72) eventually leading to his journey back home where he figures out there's too much he can't leave behind.

8: Temptation Away from True Path Temptation in the hero's journey can be defined as a situation that presents itself where the hero must over come selfish desires to return to the given path and build character. Sally is Holden's temptress. While Holden is with her he thinks about running off with her to the middle of nowhere, getting married and never having to deal with society again (Salinger 132). If Holden would've followed through he wouldn't have gained anything from his journey. He'd be giving in the his desire to run away from himself and his problems, putting him back at square one.

9: Attonement with the Father Atonement with the Father is the point in the hero's journey where he or she must reconcile with "father" figure to heal themselves. The father is portrayed as man who threatens the hero or man who helps hero. Holden reaches this stage when he accepts the fact that he will never be like his brother D.B. Throughout the book, you get a sense of jealousy from Holden about his brother success and the fact his parents like him more (Salinger 86). You realize when Holden lets go of this inferiority he feels towards his brother when he's in his room, visiting Phoebe towards the end and he states, "I went around the room, very quiet and all, looking at stuff for a while. I felt swell, for a change" (Salinger 159).

10: Apotheosis Apotheosis is when the hero comes to a realization of the purpose of his life, expands his consciousness, and views world in a whole new way. Holden reaches this stage when he's explaining what he thought a poem meant to Phoebe. He was saying how he imagined a bunch of kids in a field of rye and as they about fell off a cliff he had to catch them and save their lives (Salinger 173). He realized at this point that he was worrying, caring, and trying to help everyone but himself, leading to him failing school and mentally hurting so much.

11: Refusal of the Return Refusal of the Return is when the hero has learned what he needs to succeed in his journey and is so close to accomplishing said journey but he faces one last 'test". This 'test" tests the hero to see if he's truly ready to move ahead in his journey. Holden is tested when he thinks on the idea of running away from everyone and everything so he wouldn't have to face his problems, yet again (Salinger 198-199). The problem with this is he has no idea how close he is to making his way home because he's finally ready to fix himself and the school situation he messed up. He refused the return by promising Phoebe he would stay with her and go home (Salinger 212).

12: Master of Two Worlds Holden masters his 'two worlds" when he decides to muster up the courage to go home. Not only does he do that, but he goes and seeks mental help (my theory, and that of many) and also decides to enroll back into school to finish what he started. He demonstrated that he learned how to care more about himself and what HE wants to do with his life, rather than worry about everyone else and focusing on the fact he's too much not like his brother.

13: Works cited: Call to Adventure n.d. Fred Perry and Phil Moyer. RPGnet. Animation. 9 Apr. 2011. . Catcher in the Rye. n.d. Sullylax. Glogster. Photography. 9 Apr. 2011. . "The Hero's 12 Step Journey". n.d. Nelson Nguyen. Film n' Production Club. Photography. 9 Apr. 2011. . The Hero's Journey. n.d. TV Tropes. TV Tropes. Photography. 9 Apr. 2011. . Refusal of the Return. n.d. Writing Griffs. Blogspot. Animation. 9 Apr. 2011. . Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Canada: Little, Brown and Company, 1991. 1-214. Print.

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