In his novel The Catcher in the Rye, J. Salinger writes about the transition of changing from a child to an adult by describing the feelings of Holden Caulfield. Holden is a sixteen year old boy who cannot quite figure himself out. His parents send him to boarding school. He is attending Pencey during the novel. He doesn't really like talking about his parents too much; they don't really understand him. His older brother D.B. lives in Hollywood where he writes scripts. Holden's little sister's name is Phoebe. She is one of the only people that Holden can really enjoy having a conversation with. His little brother's name is Allie but he has died before the novel begins. Holden's goal in life is to try to protect the innocence of young people. He wants to catch the little children playing in the rye before they fall off the cliff. Three of the major themes that Salinger writes about in his novel are corruption, innocence, and acceptance.
Holden Caulfield classifies everybody he comes across in two categories, phonies or someone he enjoys being with. Holden thinks of his older brother D.B. as being a phony. He says this because D.B. is in Hollywood selling his talent like a prostitute. "Most of the people encountered by Holden in the novel have already experienced to varying degrees, the corrupting influence of this world, people whose behavior Holden generally labels as phony, for they do not even realize that they have been corrupted” (Contemporary Literary Criticism vol.8, 465). Holden really shows how much he is irritated by phonies by criticizing them. If you really pay attention to Holden, he is a "phony” himself, considering his standards. The first thing he thinks to himself when he meets someone; the person is a phony or not. Holden's dream in life is to protect all of the innocent children he can. When he sees profanity written on the walls in the school and the museum he wants to rub it off.