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Haley Mullins' Monomyth Project

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S: The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger

FC: The Catcher in the Rye and the Monomyth by Haley Mullins

2: The Call

3: The call is when Holden got kicked out of Pencey. He flunked out of all his classes except for one. He decided to leave earlier than he had to because he didn't see what the point in waiting until Wednesday was. "I just didn't want to hang around anymore. It made me too sad and lonesome" (Salinger 51). This is what started him on his journey.

4: Refusal of the Call

5: "When I was all set to go, when I had my bags and all, I stood for a while next to the stairs and took a last look down the goddam corridor" (Salinger 52). There wasn't much of a refusal but for a brief moment Holden hesitated. "I was sort of crying. I don't know why" (Salinger 52). He obviously wasn't too upset though because just before he left he yelled, "Sleep tight, ya morons!"

6: Supernatural Aid

7: Holden's supernatural aid was Mr. Spencer. Holden went to see Mr. Spencer to say goodbye and Mr. Spencer gave Holden advice and knowledge that Holden needed for his journey. "Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules" (Salinger 8). Holden didn't realize the importance of his conversation with Mr. Spencer until the end of the book, but in the end, it helped him along the journey of his life. "I'd like to put some sense in that head of yours, boy. I'm trying to help you. I'm trying to help you, if I can" (Salinger 14).

8: Crossing The First Threshold

9: The crossing of the first threshold was the train ride right after he left Pencey. Of course, it wasn't too unfamiliar because Holden had ridden the train many times before. "Usually I like riding trains, especially at night, with the lights on and the windows so black" (Salinger 53). The difference between this time and any other time was that this was the start of a journey. He still had time to go back to Pencey for a few more days if he wanted to or he could keep going. He chose to keep going. "But this time, it was different. I just didn't feel like it. I just sort of sat and not did anything" (Salinger 53). It was different because he didn't have a set destination. It was different because this time he had a lot to think about.

10: The Belly Of The Whale

11: I think that the belly of the whale was when Holden got a cab and struck up a conversation with the driver, Horwitz. I think that when Holden asked Horwitz about where the ducks at the lagoon go in the wintertime was the belly of the whale. The ducks are symbolic of Holden, whereas the fish are the complete opposite of Holden. "The fish don't go no place. They stay right where they are, the fish. Right in the goddam lake" (Salinger 82). The ducks migrate to different places depending on the time of year. They are symbolic of Holden because he's always changing schools and has no stability in his life. The fish, however, is ultimately what he wants to be because the fish can't go anywhere, giving them stability and familiarity in life. All of this symbolism shows that at this point, he can't turn back.

12: The Road of Trials

13: The road of trials includes meeting Mrs. Morrow, the encounter with Maurice and the prostitute, and the ride with the nuns. These things were key events for Holden on his journey. Mrs. Morrow was the mother of one of his former classmates whom he thought was "the biggest bastard" (Salinger 54). Even though Holden lied to Mrs. Morrow about her son, the lies made her feel good. Then he made the mistake of requesting a prostitute that he really didn't want just out of boredom and loneliness. She ended up taking advantage of him and taking his money. He and some nuns struck up a conversation on the train. He ended up talking about school again and actually showed some intelligence.

14: Meeting With The Goddess

15: The goddess in The Catcher In The Rye was Sally. Sally was an old friend of Holden's and he called her and set a date with her to see The Lunts. They eventually had a conversation about school and Holden got frustrated just talking about it. Then, an idea struck Holden. He proposed that Sally and he should run away together. "You can't just do something like that. In the first place, we're both practically children" (Salinger 132). After Sally said that and she went home, Holden realized that that meeting with Sally was a reality check. He realized that he couldn't do something like run away and start a new life and that eventually he'd have to go home. "If you want to know the truth, I don't even know why I started all that stuff with her" (Salinger 134).

16: Temptation From True Path

17: I think that the temptation from the true path was when Holden was leaving his house after visiting Phoebe for the first time since he flunked out of Pencey. His parents came home just before he was leaving and he almost wished they would have caught him. "I didn't give much of a damn anymore if they caught me. I really didn't. I figured if they caught me, they caught me. I almost wished they did, in a way" (Salinger 180). This was the temptation because he still had to experience some things in order for his journey to have meant something. It wasn't quite time for him to come home yet. If he had been caught, he probably wouldn't have ever changed. He would have gone through his cycle of schools all over again and wouldn't have gotten anywhere.

18: Atonement With The Father

19: I think the atonement with the father was when Holden went to visit and stay with Mr. Antolini, his former English teacher. Even though he was a pretty young guy, Mr. Antolini made an immense impact on Holden. They had a long conversation about school (it seems as if that's what most conversations are about in this book) and Mr. Antolini brought to light the reality of Holden's future. "This fall I think you're riding for - it's a special kind of fall, a horrible kind" (Salinger 187). "I don't want to scare you but I can very clearly see you dying nobly for some highly unworthy cause" (Salinger 188).

20: Apotheosis

21: I believe that the apotheosis is when Holden was watching Phoebe on the carousel. He denied Phoebe's request to join her on the carousel and decided to watch from the nearby bench. Phoebe said that she wasn't made at him anymore. It started to rain so Phoebe put Holden's hunting hat on his head. "Then what she did -- it damn near killed me -- she reached in my coat pocket and took out my red hunting hat and put it on my head." Holden reassured Phoebe that he wasn't going to leave afterward and that he would go home. And that's the way he ended his journey. "I felt so damn happy all of a sudden, the way old Phoebe kept going around and around" (Salinger 213).

22: Refusal Of The Return

23: The refusal of the return was when Holden decided that he'd meet up with Phoebe one last time to say goodbye and then run away and live in solitude. He decided it'd be best not to return home. "I really wanted to see old Phoebe before I hit the road. I mean I had all her Christmas dough and all" (Salinger 205). Luckily, when Holden met up with Phoebe, she convinced him not to leave and to come home where he belonged. It took an argument and some tears but he finally came around.

24: Master Of Two Worlds

25: It's difficult to say whether or not Holden really reached this stage. At the end of the book, you realize that he's telling the story from some sort of mental hospital. "A lot of people, especially this one psychoanalyst guy they have here, keeps asking me if I'm going to apply myself when I go back to school next September" (Salinger 213). He claims that once he gets out of there, he will go to yet another school where he thinks he will apply himself, but he doesn't know for sure. "The answer is, you don't. I think I am, but how do I know? I swear it's a stupid question" (Salinger 213). It never tells whether or not he used his acquired knowledge and applied it to his schoolwork and whether or not he changed his ways.

26: Works Cited

27: Andy Murch. Whale Shark. 2011. Andy Murch. Whale Sharks. Photo. 10 April 2011. Help. n.d. Chelsea Edgell. The Snarky Optimist. Photo. 10 April 2011. . Mik Furie. The Dark Furie. 2008. Mik Furie. My World. Photo. 10 April 2011. Several mobile phones. n.d. Kprateek88. Wikimedia Commons. Photo. 10 April 2011. . The Catcher in the Rye. 1991. Little, Brown and Company. UB Best Sellers. Drawing. 10 April 2011. The Hero’s Journey. n.d. Reflection2002. Mono-myth: The Hero’s Journey. Drawing. 10 April 2011. .

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