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. Very often …show more content…
The reader observes Holden’s insecurities when Holden calls the prostitute to his hotel room. He mentions to himself, “I know you’re supposed to feel sexy when somebody gets up and pulls their dress over their head, but I didn’t. Sexy was about the last thing I was feeling. (Salinger 123)” This exemplifies how Holden struggles when dealing with females. Holden demonstrates the magnitude of his insecurities when he states, “Then she sat down on my goddam lap . . . She made me so nervous, I just kept on lying my head off. (Salinger 126)” Holden’s insecurity in an uncomfortable situation caused him to lie his way out of this awkward position. Thus, “Caulfield may be classified as one who avoids life problems, by hesitating . . . (Huber and Ledbetter 252)” The temporary intermission the lie created, only made things worse for Holden. His improper handling of the situation only magnifies his negative nonconformist attitude and makes him feel like more of an …show more content…
Holden points out to the reader that “This is about to be the fourth school [he has] gone to. (Salinger 13)” Caulfield’s grades are sub-par and a result of his failure to study. Thus, indicating his lack of motivation to improve his situation. When Holden receives a scolding from his parents over his grades, he negatively interprets their harsh reaction as abandonment. This creates a whirlwind of problems for Holden, convincing the reader that “Holden is clearly flawed . . . (Bickmore and Youngblood 254)” His failure to reflect upon his poor choices, such as his failure to study and lack of motivation, can be seen as the birthplace from which many of his problems spring, leading to his pessimistic
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Despite these character flaws, Holden has many strengths such as being noble, sympathetic, and having an unstoppable desire to protect those close to him as revealed to us in the true meaning of “Catcher in the Rye.” One major character flaw that Holden shows us is him being a pathological liar. An example of the character flaw is displayed when he meets a classmate’s
Soha Tariq Ms. Mac ENG3U 6 March 2023 Holden Caulfield’s Psychoanalytic Examination One of the largest themes in Holden’s life is his inability to grow up. Throughout the book, many readers can tell that Holden lacks maturity, and is obviously afraid of adulthood. This can be portrayed by how Holden says, “The best thing, though, in that museum was the everything always stayed right where it was.” (Salinger, 121).
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 is a very introverted character who hesitates throughout the book to share information about his life . J.D Salinger makes sure to portray Holden that way to
Holden’s Struggle To Find Himself: Throughout the novel, The Catcher In The Rye, by J.D. Salinger, Holden struggles to find himself and who he truly is in order to be happy. His struggles relate to many things that he does or say in particular. Holden lacks with a social status with women and his family, whether it’s a relationship or being antisocial. Throughout The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield experiences the complexities and struggles involved with both physical and emotional relationships.
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.
Furthermore, Holden starts to hate all the adults or loses faith in them, calls them phony. Holden has a second thought of becoming an adult he loses hope in his future and it seems to him nothing in the world matters to him anymore. We can see that throughout the book. He smokes, gets drunk, and does daring acts like getting a prostitute in his room. He also tries to escape all this guilt and grief by wasting time with unnecessary people he calls phony.
Was Holden successful in his Journey This is an essay on whether or not Holden Caulfield is successful on his journey throughout the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” by Jerome David Salinger. This book shows how hard it can be for teenagers that are going from an adolescent to adulthood. Holden, who is sixteen years old, has been kicked out of several schools. Pencey Prep. was the latest.
JD Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye is about a boy named Holden Caulfield and his struggle with life. As a teenager, he has one goal and that is to simply find his place in the world. Unlike an ordinary teenager he has a severe case of depression, and displays many signs to exhibit this mental illness. As we escalate through the novel, we notice that his depression seems to be getting worse and that he is feeling despondent more often.
The beginning of Holden’s journey starts with the innocence and naivety of childhood. Childhood is the stage that ignorance is bliss with no care in the world. Holden goes to a prestigious boarding school for boys and he believes that everyone in that school is a phony in some way. Holden is an observant character as he stays in the background, but he can also cause the most trouble. Like a child, he asks many questions and he is very curious to the point that he can be annoying.
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
Holden cannot handle accepting blame for his shortfalls. This is evident in the way he retells his story. Holden repeatedly tells the reader outrageous claims about his character. However when he ends up coming short on these expectations, he backtracks his previous statements in order to shift the blame away from himself. When he first discusses his fight with Stradlater he says, “All I know was I
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.
In the paradoxical personality of Holden we discover something much deeper. As Holden makes himself out to be tougher than what he actually is, Salinger introduces stubbornness. Holden’s true nature of gentleness and sensitivity offered throughout the book often brings bedlam into his life, though Salinger brings into
The deeply troubled adolescent Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye displays signs of fear and rejection towards the adult world, into which he is strongly resisting the transition. Caulfield is disgusted at the world and in particular the adults that surround him which ultimately drives Caulfield to the point of expelling the idea of maturity and rather preserving the childlike innocence in the youth. Caulfield labels adults as arrogant and superficial who are believed to be the carriers of vice and phoniness and are blind to their wrong doings. On the contrary, Caulfield believes that children are the carriers of virtue and innocence, who are sucked into the complex and superficial adult world.