Examples Of Honesty In Catcher In The Rye

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Trying To Look Honest by Hannah T. In the “trying to look tough” passage Holden is trying to be vulnerable with the reader, but he doesn’t know how to and he fears potential judgment. Holden begins the “trying to look tough” paragraph by saying that he “didn’t give a damn how [he] looked.”(99) as he puts on his hunting hat. This can’t be true, as he proves his concern in the simple act of noting how he must appear to others. The reader can see however that Holden wants to be able not to care what others think of him. He uses this declaration to preface a paragraph entirely devoted to how he wishes to be versus how he is. Holden is trying to frame the paragraph so as not to appear concerned with his image, an anxiety in and of itself…show more content…
As he describes his hypothetical fight with the boy who stole his gloves Holden continually catches himself as he is about to lie and then negates his own thoughts in a clumsy attempt at honesty. He says “…I’d feel I ought to sock the guy in the jaw or something—break his goddamn jaw. Only, I wouldn’t have the guts to do it.”(99) The dash before ‘break’ demonstrates the stream of consciousness manner in which Salinger is writing. This is literature not bound by conventions of punctuation. The ‘break his goddamn jaw’ sentence is one complete thought. The next sentence begins with ‘only’ as if it is a continuation of the last, however the period makes a break. We see from this the chronology of Holden’s thought process. He introduces what would, under normal circumstances, be a lie, realizes what he was about to do, and then tacks on an explanation of the truth. A similar attempt to stifle his habit of lying appears later as he makes an excuse for never confronting the man who stole his gloves “I never seem to have anything that if I lost it I’d care too much. Maybe that’s why I’m partly yellow.”(100) and then immediately contradicts what he said in order to be genuine “It’s no excuse, though. It really

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