Catcher In The Rye Outcast Analysis

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An outcast is a term typically used to describe a person that isn't widely accepted by normal members of society. In the story The Catcher in the Rye, main character Holden Caulfield struggles with being a normal, functioning member of society. In fact, he often rejects being one by his own device. Holden rejects many social norms, including things like trying not to mature, not adapting to any social situation and watching other people doing things while he doesn't, and just his overall awkward nature. He does most definitely not succeed in his rebellion towards society. The first way Holden represents an outcast, is that he refuses to mature and grow up. This is highlighted so many times in the story, it's basically one of it's themes. A …show more content…

Some prime examples of this are in the events following his meeting with Carl Luce. The overall mood of the bar is a social drinking atmosphere, but Holden turns it into something far from that. He drinks so much scotch and soda that he almost passes out in the bathroom. “It’s a funny thing, I always shiver like hell when i’m drunk. I didn’t have anything else to do, so I kept sitting on the radiator and counting the little white squares on the floor” (Salinger 152). Holden shrouds the real meaning of this statement in his well know “tough guy” act. The action leading up to him sitting on the radiator was extremely heavy drinking and him trying to wake himself with a sink filled with cold water, so him sitting there for a while obviously means he’s almost drunk enough to pass out. Another situation where he doesn’t know how to react is in the moments following his bathroom stint when he meets the pianist. "Hey. You gonna see that Valencia babe when you go back in the bar? I asked him It's highly probable, he said. Witty bastard. All I ever meet is witty bastards.Listen. Give her my compliments. Ask her if that goddam waiter gave her my message, willya? Why don't you go home, Mac? How old are you, anyway? Eighty-six. Listen. Give her my compliments. Okay? Why don't you go home, Mac? Not me. Boy, you can play that goddam piano. I told him. I was just flattering” (Salinger 152). These two events show that he cannot for his life, take social cues, drunk or

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