In the book Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger, the narrator and protagonist Holden Caulfield a sixteen year old junior undergoes a series of changes. Holden learns multiple life changing lessons; one of them is you must grow up. In the beginning of the novel, Holden starts out as “that kid”; the one with the parents who expect him to get into an ivy league school, and end up with a kid with no intentions of doing so. At the beginning of the book it is very apparent that Holden lacks motivation; he also has hit rock bottom. Although Holden is a very intelligent character he finds the hypocrisy and ugliness in the world around him and quickly associates it with the adult world.
Holden struggles with growing up and facing reality. There are many examples of Holden’s immaturity that are displayed in many forms such as facing responsibilities, his speech, his actions, and etc. Holden’s outlook on adult life is that it is superficial and brimming with phonies, but childhood was all about looking pleasing and innocent. He wants everything to stay the same and for time to stop. As Holden progresses in age, he will discover more about becoming mature in the
Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual”. In the book Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield’s lies become habitual throughout the book. Holden is a sixteen-year-old boy, who has been kicked out of several schools including, most recently, Pencey Prep. Holden’s younger brother, Allie, died when Holden was only thirteen and his older brother is too busy working for Hollywood to care about Holden. Although his mother cares immensely for him, Holden saddens her by failing academically. The only motivator that Holden has to continue living is his younger sister, Phoebe, who is extraordinarily intelligent for her age. After he gets kicked out of Pencey, Holden is lost in life. He speaks to many people, seeking advice and comfort, but they are not able to help him find a human connection. Holden’s depression increases throughout the novel, almost to the point of suicide. He criticizes many people and ideas, labeling them as ‘phony’. Holden lies as a result of his depression, in order to hide the fact that he’s lonely and bored with his life, to divert any questions which he believes are too personal, and to create his own reality. In this way, Salinger illustrates how, during difficult times, people resort to lying as a coping mechanism.
Throughout “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D Salinger, Holden Caulfield shows great difficulty making long and meaningful connections with other people. Holden believes he is the normal one but it is actually the other way around. He holds on to a deep emotional road block of the death of his innocent brother Allie. Holden keeps this dragging around with him which causes him to veer from connecting and having a long term relationship with others. Holden is unaware of his problem. When people try to help him he tells them there is nothing wrong with him. Holden wonders why he cannot connect with others. He blames it on other people when the source of his problems is himself. Holden’s past holds him back from connecting with others, but his fear of letting go of his past has him limited and scarred from making new relationships and connections.
In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield is a peculiar character portrayed as a skeptic living in “a world of phonies” in circa 1950. These personality traits can be seen through his doubts of society as well as his way of thinking and acting toward others. He also demonstrates a lack of responsibility adding to his role as a slacker. Holden flunks out of school repeatedly and has no desire to confront his parents. He mopes around the city for days, delaying the inevitable punishments he’s sure to get. Holden Caulfield is an irresponsible character and this can be proven time and again through his thoughts and actions toward himself and others.
In J.D. Salinger's bestselling novel The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield shows a sense of maturity that exceeds far beyond his peers when it comes to sexual relationships with girls. First, Holden becomes furious when he learns that Stradlater exclusively wants his childhood crush Jane for sexual endeavors. Second, Holden forfeits his big chance with Sunny and attempts to unsuccessfully build a healthy relationship with her instead. Third, Holden reflects on his treatment of girls, showing a more refined mindset when compared to other teenagers. Although Holden dislikes the transition from childhood to adulthood, he exhibits qualities of a mature grownup without even knowing it. Holden’s bursts of maturity are apparent throughout the novel. An early altercation with Stradlater reveals Holden’s mentality from the beginning.
Although most of the time, Holden demonstrates his rebellious side, he actually still has fragile side. “What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of good-by”(7). “Good-by” is a word can brings a sense of sadness. Holden’s thoughts about “good-by” demonstrate he is a fragile boy who is like a piece of glass, easy to be broken. This shows that Holden is a person who has desire to love and care from others. He wants to leave some impression to people. He wants them to remember him instead of ignoring. Holden is not as tough as he shows when he describes his parents and his brother D.B in the previous paragraphs. Another good example shows his fragility appears when his brother died and “[he] broke all the goddam windows
How would you feel if you were outcasted by society, looked down upon by everyone else around you, never to fit in. This is the life that Holden Caulfield has to live. Holden Caulfield is a character in the book, The Catcher In the Rye, that is viewed as a misfit but assigned this label by society around him. Holden just has a different perspective on the world than everyone else, causing him to be seen as lower than everyone else. Holden doesn't believe in how materialistic things make you happy, he doesn't agree with people pretending to be someone that they truly are not, and he wants to protect children from the world and keep their innocence for as long as he can. It is not Holden Caulfield who is a misfit in our society, but society
In Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, is challenged by the world around him. One of the main issues he faces is “ . . . constantly [feeling] as if he is being surrounded by his enemies. (Huber and Ledbetter 254)” Confined by insecurity, loneliness, and uncertainty, he continues on his spiritual quest for true happiness. These feelings overwhelm Caulfield as he judges all individuals he comes into contact with as phony. Caulfield is unaware of his negative opinions, which are self-serving. Bickmore and Youngblood state, “An honest hypocrite, Holden is the very essence . . . of adolescence. (253)” Moreover, Caulfield’s negative perception of society only feeds his insecurity and unhappiness.
While many argue that Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye does not deviate from the traditional anti-hero attributes and, therefore, does not display any prominent change, an argument can be made to the contrary. Holden Caulfield goes through some noticeable character development and is in a better place emotionally at the end of the book because he speaks with Phoebe. His meeting with Phoebe and Phoebe’s message to him shows him a youth’s perspective on his world, rather than the superficial sincerity of his elderly professor and his favorite teacher that makes advances on him. Additionally, him being able to successfully communicate with a member of his own family puts him in a better place. His time with her lets him see his own self-image of a “catcher in the rye.” By, Holden has been able to change and will be able to change even more in the future.
The novel “The Catcher in the Rye” was about the journey of a adolescent boy finding his way to adulthood. In the book Holden Caulfield was unsuccessful in finding his way to adulthood. Holden’s attitude in the novel throughout his journey was very immature. He also can't accept the fact that innocence can’t be forever protected. Lastly, Holden calls everyone a phony when in reality he is the real phony. Although others may say that Holden was successful on his journey, saying that he grew up he. Holden showed lots of immaturity throughout the novel and was the biggest phony of all..
Throughout the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield is a deep character that shows(possesses) many personality traits. His character is what connects many readers to him and helps in understanding him. Some character traits Holden possesses are that he is generous, kindhearted, usually honest, very intelligent, makes quick judgements, speaks his mind, is anxious about change, and likes kids. Considering his many character traits, it is easy for the reader to understand and relate to Holden. There are many character traits that I share with him. Three examples of such traits are that I like to speak my mind, I get anxious when things change and I am kind-hearted.
At the end of the novel, Holden Caulfield notes, “.. D.B. asked me what I thought about all this stuff I just finished telling you about. I didn 't know what the hell to say. If you want to know the truth, I don 't know what I think about it” (234). Three major episodes that Holden mentions throughout the novel shows a little of who he is as a narrator; the ducks at central park, the lunatic, and the fight with Stradlater. The three episodes shows his lack of insight in his life, ignorance of himself, and his inaccurate observations which clearly demonstrates why Holden is a unreliable narrator.
In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger portrays a fascinating juvenile misfit character extensively named Holden Caulfield. Holden goes to school at the age of sixteen and is said to be a misfit in society. However, even though society is corrupt in some ways, Holden Caulfield is a misfit no matter if people say he is misunderstood in the eyes of society.