The Catcher in the Rye Many times in literature, the setting is particularly significant to the novel in terms of plot, themes, or characters. The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger, takes place in 1950 New York City. The main character, Holden Caulfield, got expelled from school and goes into the city for a few days before returning home. He spent his time dealing with his feelings about growing up.
The setting is significant to this story because it supports the theme of Holden trying to grow up, it brings out a more insecure, childish side to him, and it is part of the reason for his negative feelings about the world. The setting of the novel is key to the theme of Holden growing up. Holden was able to get into nightclubs and bars despite the fact that he was a minor. He had easy access to prostitutes and his own hotel room, which are traits of being in the city. He also spent a lot of time travelling around the city on his own, which brought about an independent feeling. Furthermore, he spent many days just basically taking care of himself without anyone knowing where he was.
These little parts of the setting inspired a feeling of self-sufficiency in Holden. The setting of this novel brought out an insecure, childish side of Holden. He seemed to digress at times and instead of acting independent, he became an insecure child. This happened when the pimp and the prostitute took his five dollars.
Instead of getting up and sucking it up, he started crying like a child. Also, he began to act like a child while he was walking down the street. He started talking to his dead brother and pretending that the streets were about to collapse beneath him, as if it were a child's game. The setting of this book is also part of the reason the Holden had negative feelings about the world. He sees the world as a harsh, cold place, and living in the city was part of that. The city was a harsh environment, especially for someone like Holden who was growing up and dealing with his feelings and didn t have anyone to console him.
Again, when the pimp took his money and Holden was left crying by himself; it was an example of how the city can be harsh and unforgiving. Holden recognized this harshness and turned his back on the world because of it. In The Catcher in the Rye, the setting was very important. It brought out Holden's insecure, childish side. The setting played an important role in causing Holden to have the negative feelings that he did about the world. Finally, it was crucial to Holden having his feelings of independence and of being grown-up.
The setting dealt with all of these aspects of the book. Had it been set in a different time and place, the outcome would have been much different.