FC: The Catcher in the Rye and the Monomyth | By Rachel Jones
1: The Call to Adventure | The call to adventure is when Holden Caulfield, an emotionally unstable 16 year old, gets reprimanded from attending Pencey Prep any longer. He failed four out of five of his classes, with English being the exception (Salinger 4). He respected the school's decision because he understood that he showed apathy toward school, which was reflected in his grades. He was yet disappointed in himself, which showed when immiturity struck throughout his journey.
3: Refusal of the Call | After making the decision to leave Pencey early because he got the ax, Holden starts packing. While doing so, he becomes depressed at the mere sight of hockey skates from his mother. This makes him think of himself as a failure and the want for escape lessens. The refusal of the call is the re-thinking of himself and his choices as he packs, due to the realization of repeated failures (Salinger 51-52).
4: Supernatural Aid | Mr. Spencer, Holden's former History teacher at Pencey, acts as a mentor for Holden before he departs for New York. Shortly before deciding to take the journey, Holden runs to Mr. Spencer's house where he is gravely criticized for failing most of his classes. It is upon his thrust for the door that Mr. Spencer yells "good luck" to Holden (Salinger 15-16). He takes this as a piece of negative advice, but along his journey, luck becomes important to Holden because of all of the pickles he finds himself in.
5: C | C | R | c | cc | Crossing the First Threshold | When Holden boards a train going to Penn Station, the mother of a Pencey Prep student, Ernest Morrow, sits next to him despite the fact the whole rest of the train is empty. He blurts out continuous lies as they converse about Pencey, Ernest Morrow, and Holden's travels. Towards the end of the train ride when Mrs. Morrow leaves, Holden feels sorry about originating their conversation by lying about his name. This ultimately leads Holden to the realization that lying isn't a good thing (Salinger 56). The crossing of the first Threshold is not only when Holden rides the train to Penn Station, but also when he comes to that realization.
7: The Belly of the Whale | When Holden arrives at Penn Station, he is officially New York bound. This signifies the beginning of his journey within the city of New York, where lots of mischief surrounds Holden. He decides not to call his family, Sally Hayes, Jane Gallagher or Carl Luce, which signifies the need for friends, but the outcome of isolation on his journey (Salinger 59).
9: C | C | R | c | cc | The Road of Trials | Three consecutive events describe Holden's road of trials. While on the way to his hotel, the cab driver is uninterested in Holden's questions about the lagoon ducks. Then after receiving a poor hotel room, Holden witnesses a man dressing in women's clothes and a man and women squirting water into each other's mouths. This gives insight to the type of people in Holden's environment throughout his journey. Holden also decides to call Faith Cavendish whose number he received from a Princeton graduate. She denies meeting with him because of her roommate's illness and offers to meet the next day, but Holden revokes the invitation (Salinger 60-66).All of these events commonly caused Holden to feel rejected, which becomes a common throughout his journey.
10: Meeting with the Goddess | Holden meets three women from Seattle who each portrayed mockery and pity toward his attempt at acting adult-like. They each dance with him, and while trying to converse on the dance floor, all of the women do not take him seriously. They leave Holden with a $13 check, causing him isolation (Salinger 70-76). In the end, Holden learns that despite the amount of attempts he makes, he will not always be accepted as the adult he strives to be.
11: C | C | R | c | cc | Temptation Away from the True Path | Holden accepts the offer of a prostitute, but when the time arises he finds himself afraid. Lying about his clavichord operation and needing to rest, Holden handles his fear immaturely, but at the same time finds himself on the path toward adult hood in realizing he made a mistake and taking responsibility for it by denying the woman (Salinger 96-97).
13: Atonement with the Father | Holden meets with Mr. Antolini, a former professor of his at Elkton Hills. While drunk, Mr. Antolini gives Holden a great speech about how he is destined for a fall and if he doesn't want to end up a failure he should start succeeding in school. It's not clear as to what kind of fall Mr. Antolini is describing, but he states that Holden won't realize when he is falling because there will be no escape. This describes Holden's oblivion for the consequences of his actions, as well as the consequences he faces. A quote contrasting mature and immature men is also said. Holden ties in with the immature man because he has no plan for his future and is wondering tiresly around New York to avoid the disappointment of his parents and the reality of his decisions (Salinger 186-187).
15: C | C | R | c | cc | Apotheosis | The apotheosis stage occurs when Holden realizes his view of the world is incorrect. He first witnesses slander in the Museum of Art and by two Christmas tree haulers, and then feels as if he is going to disappear at the end of every street he walks. This leads him to beg his dead brother, Allie to help him stay alive. He becomes frightened to the point where he begins sweating profusely and realizes Mr. Antolini was correct in telling him how little he is connected with the environment (Salinger 196-198).
17: Refusal of The Return | Holden first decides to run away because he realizes he doesn't relate to anybody. However, when Phoebe asks to come along and he declines, she begins to cry. When he sees someone he cares for care for him in return (he is not being rejected), he decides to stay so that he can be there for Phoebe (Salinger 205-208).This represents the refusal to make another mistake along his journey. Holden acts maturely, effectively declining his own invitation to run away again.
19: Master of Two Worlds | Holden writes of his journey from a rest home, as he describes the inferred mental hospital he inhabits until September when school starts. His main point was that he wishes he hadn't of told everybody about his journey because they are the folks he misses. There is a difference in Holden's opinions, as he states them in a more mature manner and is rather calm about them. His opinions relate to the future, something he hardly thought about along his journey. Holden is ultimately more aware of who he is because he's had time to be alone and really think about his journey and his mistakes. It's a good thing that he refers to the place he's in as a rest home because it would be unhealthy to think of himself as crazy and scare himself, as he did while talking to Allie out of fear (Salinger 213-214).
20: Eric Kane. Taxi Cabs. 2007. CARS & TRANSPORTATION. treehugger. Web. 9 Apr. 2011. Matt Jalbert. New York City. 2005. Blog Prompt. Beyond Design. Web. 9 Apr. 2011. Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1951. Print. Untitled Boy in Field. n.d. Christian Life Fellowship. clf-nwa.com. Web. 9 Apr. 2011.
21: Works Cited Continued | Untitled Fingers Flipping Through a Book. n.d. Royalty Free Center. Visual Photos. Web. 9 Apr 2011.