Holden Caulfield is a character much like Huck Finn who chooses to bathe in the glory of individualism. On leaving his Prep school, he comes in contact with reality and encounters people, most of whom he dislikes. He is appalled at their need for approval and pretentiousness. A Journalist, William Whyte termed these people as the “organization men” which he defined as individuals focused on getting along and incapable of any kind of independent thought or action. Caulfield offered his own term of disparagement- phony and thus appeals to broadly shared anxieties about a conformist culture.
The novel begins when Holden is expelled from the prestigious Pencey Prep High School, and then, without telling his parents, he roams the streets of New York, confronting the adult world while searching for a friend. This search for friendship leads Holden to see the dark side of humanity and reveals his own hypocrisy. His struggles, however insignificant, are decidedly human and his opinions fluid and flawed. Holden's desperate tone makes him an unreliable yet powerful narrator as he lies to himself and others in order to decrease his loneliness, showing the dark side of humanity. Holden’s desperation leads him to make a fool of himself as he attempts to relieve his loneliness.
Actually, learning more about the author makes it easier to understand the character. Salinger changed school once due his friendship problems and once due flunking too many subjects. Holden was expelled due flunking and had problem doing friends.
Bob told Atticus he would get him even if it was the last thing he did. This makes Jem and Scout worried because they feel threatened as well. Jem pleads, “Nothing’s happened. We’re scared for you, and we think you oughta do something about him” (Lee,292). He is seen as an enemy to the Finch’s after the trial because of his verbal and physical actions.
This is an example of how Christopher McCandless had realized the likeliness of him not coming back from the wild. “Chris submitted to Walt’s authority…but the boy raged inwardly all the while” (Krakauer 46). Christopher had always played the game by the book and showed people what they want but he hated it tremendously. “Behave cryptically to confuse predators; change colors, spit or feign death. If all else fails, taste terrible” (Gerstler).
He has his own way of expressing his feelings and thoughts and he feels like the world around him is being cruel. There are lots of examples that shows that Holden is different from the ideal person in the community. Such as, he is unable to communicate with the people in his age, he fails his schools multiple times and in the future he is hospitalized and seeing a psychoanalyst. One of the biggest example is when he expresses his feelings about what Mr. Spencer says to him: “Game, my ass. Some game.
He lies intensely throughout the course of the novel, starting from lying to Ackley at the very beginning of the book. From his sarcastic tone in his conversation with other people, readers can denote his own cynical view on the world. Holden views adulthood as phony, hypocritical and fake while childhood in his mind is a world of innocence, honesty, and joy. That is the main reason why he wants to be a “catcher in the rye” to protect and save all the children from falling into the phony adult world. Holden Caulfield’s despise of fakeness causes his resistance of growing into a more mature person, with the lack of ability to interact with other people, make him a
Charlie appears to be the exact definition of “the common man,” however as the movie progresses, we learn of his hidden fetish. Barton Finks friendship with Charlie Meadows is where you detect that Barton struggles with actually relating to the common man. Barton continuously refuses and interrupts Charlie Meadows when he states that he could tell him some stories. The medium close ups of Barton and Charlie during this scene allow you to see the passion as Barton speaks, and the frustration on Charlies face as he continues to be ignored. In the film, he states, “many writers do everything in their power to insulate themselves from the common man, from where they live, from where they trade, from where they fight and love and converse and… so naturally their work suffers and regresses into empty formalism…well I’m spouting off again, but to put it in your language, the theatre becomes as phony as a three-dollar bill!”
It was the rejection and loneliness that influenced the monster to become angry with humanity. We must also remember that he was not in any way born this way. He was born just like a child, not knowing the difference between good or bad, and experiencing new and wondrous feelings in his life. It was his experiences with humanity that led him into believing that humans are awful and they only judge what is on the outside. If we view a modern day example, we will be able to identify how much society impacts the lives of teenagers.
Throughout The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caufield distances himself from others. In fact, Holden begins his narration on top of Thomsen Hill, alone, while “...the whole school except me was ...down at the game” (Salinger 3). Furthermore, it can be inferred that Holden,”the most terrific liar you saw in your whole life”, lies to isolate himself and get out of uncomfortable situations (Salinger 16). While it is clear that Holden wishes to alienate himself, the reasons why he does so is more complex. It appears that Holden wields alienation as a form of self-protection.
He was raised according the morals of society on the reservation, which could not be more different from the way people are conditioned in the Brave New World. The conditioning makes the citizens of Brave New World absolutely disgusted by old age, injuries and families (153). In the same vein, John was disturbed by the science of the Brave New World such as all of the twins created through the Bokanovsky process. Simple differences such as these between John and the people of the Brave New World guaranteed that he would never be able to truly belong in that society. This is reflected by the fact that John was always referred to as “the Savage” or “Mr. Savage”.
Lastly, Huck didn’t put up with anyone telling him what to do, especially pap. Pap was racist and abusive, and Huck fought back even though he knew he’d be beat. Pap was furious that Huck was going to school and learning to write, on account of nobody else in the family being able to, saying: “You’re educated, too, they say; can read and write. You think you’re better’n your father, now, don’t you, because he can’t?
Why would Holden call others phony when he is a phony himself? Holden’s repetitive use of the word phony throughout the novel begins to show his true colors. Some examples of him calling others phony is the headmaster, the actual school Pencey Prep, Ossenburger, Sally Hayes, Stradlater, also people he did not know. J.D. Salinger reveals Holden’s “phoniness” to the audience through his hypocritical use of the words fake and phony. Holden attends the school Pencey Prep, he says his headmaster as well as the school and everyone in it is a phony, he describes it as “one of the worst schools I ever went to.
In the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger we read about a young man, Holden Caulfield, freshly kicked out of yet another high school and highly opinionated about his views of society. We learn about his views as he walks around New York around Christmas time, not wanting to face his parents so soon after being kicked out of school. Some of Holden's views on society include; phony people are bad, and there needs to be more protection of the innocence in the world, Holden has the right to worry and want change for each of these topics, yet he worries about them in a level that is completely unhealthy. Holden's views include that phoniness should be eradicated from society. Holden is happy when people don't try to glorify phony people:
Family isolation can cause depression and sadness for a teenager. In the novel Catcher in the Rye, the author makes the reader follow the main character, Holden Caulfield around New York. Holden has just gotten kicked out of another school and decides to go around New York without telling his parents. Over the course of his journey, he tries to find himself and where he is going in life. He starts to go downhill as is past starts to haunt him and he starts to think about the future.