Summary of Plot The book the Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger was very interesting. Holden Caulfield, a teenager tells about his insight about life and world around him. Holden shares many of his opinions about people and leads the reader on a five day visit into his mind. Holden portrayed others to be inferior to his own kind all throughout the book. He made several references as to how people are not as perfect as he was. "The reason he [Stradlater] fixed himself up to look good was because he was madly in love with himself." (pg. 27) Holden had an inferiority complex. He was afraid of not having any special talents or abilities and used other methods to make him out to be a rough tough boy. "Boy, I sat at that goddam bar till around one o'clock or so, getting drunk as a bastard.
I could hardly see straight." (pg. 150) Holden tried all he could to fit in. He drank, cursed and criticized life in general to make it seem he was very knowing of these habits. Holden used the term 'phonies' to describe more than a few people in this book.
He used the term to be what a person is if they don't act naturally and follow other people's manners and grace. Holden didn't like phonies, he thought of them as if they were trying to show off. He didn't like it when they showed off because it seemed so fake and unnatural every time they would do so. "At the end of the first act we went out with all the other jerks for a cigarette. What a deal that was. You never saw so many phonies in all your life, everybody smoking their ears off and talking about the play so that everybody could hear how sharp they were." (pg. 126) Throughout the book Holden displays a lack of motivation for many things in which he should do. Holden couldn't even call up an old girlfriend whom he knew a long time ago. "But when I got inside this phone booth, I wasn't much in the mood any more to give old Jane a buzz." (Pg. 150) Holden also had a problem getting his motivation together in order to complete schoolwork and succeed in his prep school. The Catcher in the Rye is a story of a boy falling from innocence to enter adulthood. An example of J.D. Salinger using symbolism to show Holden's Holding on to his childhood is in his name, Holden(Hold On). This is referring to Holden not wanting to enter society and all it's phonies.