14 March 2023
In books and stories, an unreliable narrator is not what a reader in-visions and not what the readers like essentially. The book Catcher in the Rye is about a teenage kid Holden that has crazy actions such as leaving school, and his home, and never really coming back for a while. Holden reveals to the reader his unreliable narration to the readers throughout the story through his actions of lying, immaturity, and hypocrisy. Basically making him untrustworthy to the readers.
All through the story, Holden is pretty unreliable due to his lying. Holden is an unreliable narrator which is clearly seen in the book when a woman asks for his name. His response is, "Rudolf Schmidt"(Salinger …show more content…
For instance in the story Holden says “It looked pretty as hell, and we all started throwing snowballs and horsing around all over the place. It was very childish, but everybody was really enjoying themselves.”(Salinger PDF 23). Throughout the story, Holden does very childish things. He made people act negatively, rudely, and immaturely. He thinks he can do whatever he wants just because he's a kid until he realizes it doesn't last forever. Another instance of this is when Holden explains to the reader where he says “You take a really smart girl, and half the time she's trying to lead you around the dance floor, or else she's such a lousy dancer, the best thing to do is stay at the table and just get drunk with her.”(Salinger PDF 44). Holden messes around in things he shouldn't do or even care for but it affects him. He feels the saying “you only live once” is his motto (he doesn't say that but he acts like it). His immaturity is him growing up too fast. He thinks it's okay to act like a 21-year-old when he knows much better. A secondary source about the novel also has some words to say about Holdenss immaturity to where he says “While such positive interpretations of Holden correct reductive interpretations that simply dismiss Holden as an immature cynic, Duane Edwards's , “Holden Caulfield: Don't Ever Tell Anybody Anything,” advances an even more complex interpretation of Holde.”(Bennet SS). He’s …show more content…
According to the text, Holden explains, “I sort of started pretending I had a bullet in my guts. Old 'Maurice had plugged me”.(Salinger PDF 64). He then proceeds to say how he's doing this just to “get a good shot of bourbon or something…”. Holden saying this is very unreliable to the readers and even himself when he could get into trouble or even hurt. He has to realize that his hypocrisy is making him go nowhere in life. Holden then continues to reveal the same trait when he says “didn't know anybody. I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody.”(Salinger PDF 119) The evidence above is beyond human-like to even act that sort of way. Holden's hypocrisy towards this way of acting is unbelievable to the reader. Proving to the audience that he's a sick, unreliable narrator to trust. Another Secondary source coming from Susan K. Mitchell explains how in-depth she is into Holdens hypocrisy in the novel. She states “Holden will not tell much about his parents beyond his veiled opinion that they both are phony hypocrites. The reader is not even told their first names. From the beginning, we are led to believe that they are hypersensitive about Holden's revealing their personal life because they want to protect their created image of conformed perfection”(Mitchell SS)Mitchell's point is so clear there is not
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Holden is a very complex character. He has a very angsty, angry, and escapist personality. He classes most other people as "phonies" yet craves closeness with another person. Instead of facing his problems, he prefers to run away from them. The major conflict is within Holden’s psyche.
Instead of telling her the truth, he says he has to go home because he has a tumor in his brain. Holden calls whoever lies to look better in public a phony, but he performs similar actions. Salinger does not portray Holden’s expectations as reasonable because he portrays Holden’s character as not living up to the same expectations. Holden holds a lot of expectations for who is phony and who is not but he is often found contradicting the same expectations. He calls people that lie to look good in front of others phonies, but he finds it okay to repeatedly lie to Ernest Morrow’s mother.
He has a big hero complex and wishes that everyone else did as well, he even goes to the extent of becoming upset when no one knew what happened to the ducks in the winter. Innocence is a huge theme in this book. Holden wants to protect it as much as he can and that makes sense. When we are young we see things in a different perception, we think that life is great and its full of wonderful things and people. It hits us hard when we grow up and realize that the world is actually full of people who don't care about us.
Another way that Holden is a typical teen is that he feels all these emotions that he can't hide because he’s a kid. Holden has felt depressed, hopeless, and stressed by having to grow up too fast, like most teens. Holden desires good connections with his siblings, proving that he feels love and compassion, even a bit of romance; he is just a teen that has grown up too fast. " About all I know is that I sort of miss everybody" (214). Holden in the book shows emotions and can't hold them back because he is like everyone else.
Holden continues to act tuff even though he tells us he is shaking and scared. Even though Holden didn't do it right he was trying to fit in with Stradlater, if he didn't want to fit into society he wouldn't want to try and fit in with a “cool” kid or really anyone. Another instinct of Holden trying to fit into society by acting how he thinks he has to act is in the novel, Salinger writes, “He came right up to where I was standing. That's all he could say. ‘Let's have it, chief.’
“ I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids and nobody’s around - nobody big, I mean- except me and I 'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff I mean if they 're running and they don 't look where they 're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them that 's all I do all day I just be the catcher in the rye and all…”(Salinger 173). Holden doesn’t want to grow up, and he doesn’t want anyone else to grow up.
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
He takes the reader on a journey over a few days from him leaving the school to roaming the streets of New York. The question is Holden a Phony often pops into the minds of the reader. Holden is a phony because he is a hypocrite who does things that he criticize others for. He is a phony because he pretends to be someone that he is not,
I was already sort of sorry I 'd let the thing start rolling, but it was too late now” (Salinger 19). This quote goes to show that Holden is trying to be a different person. He normally would accept a night with an escort but as stated in the quote he was so depressed he couldn 't even think about his decisions. A later quote shows that he doesn 't even use his real name he uses the name “Jim Steele”.
1. Holden Caulfield is a seventeen-year-old boy from a wealthy family, who doesn’t care about many things and enjoys lying to other people. Holden makes a point throughout the first half of the book to show how skilled he is at lying to other people; however, he also hates when other people are phony. Therefore, Holden is a hypocrite, he holds other people to higher standards and considers them phonies, when Holden in fact is a phony considering his tendency to be dishonest and spin tales about himself. Even Holden doesn’t always seem to enjoy or be in control of his lying, for example, he states “Then I started reading this timetable I had in my pocket.
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
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. During his time at New York, as a teenage boy, Holden is unaware and lack the insight in his life so as he narrates, he
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 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. In the beginning of the story, Holden lied to divert questions in order to protect his personal information.
JD Salinger uses extreme detail and personal experiences so readers can understand how he thinks about others and classified them as “phonies” .From the personal experiences and detail implied in the book he explains how he lost his innocence and its all his family fault “I was born , an what my lousy childhood was like, how my parents were occupied and all before they had me.”(pg 5)This explains how Holden didn't his childhood and he feels like his parents didn't have the time to take care of him. Which I do agree with, because he uses extreme detail and explanation to prove his thoughts. Another reason why agree they were true because as in one of his quote says “Grand.