"The Catcher in the Rye".

Essay by aztec222High School, 11th gradeA, March 2004

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Holden Caulfield is the main character and narrator in 'The Catcher in the Rye'. Everything that happens is seen through his eyes. He is a sensitive adolescent rebelling against the superficiality and materialism of conventional society. Holden is highly-strung, nervous, and a volatile character, moving towards a mental breakdown.

The whole novel is about Holden. He is a 16 year old adolescent telling his story from a mental institution where he is being treated. He is kind. In the novel we are shown a number of times of this, when he loaned Stradlater his jacket (pg29), in and doing his essay (pg36). Holden is compassionate as he is constantly feeling sorry for others. He is also charitable and considerate, as when he donated money to the nuns (pg115).

Holden talks and often acts impulsively, "All of a sudden for no good reason, really, except that I was sort of in the mood for horsing around.

I felt like jumping off the washbowl and getting Stradlater in a half-nelson."

Holden loves, but his hates overpower and dominate him: he can not name one thing that he really likes when Phoebe asks him to (pg176). He characterises his hates with the 'phoney'. He is warned by Mr Antolini about the direction he is moving in, which inevitably leads to "some kind of terrible, terrible fall." Holden's frame of mind permits him only to see the ugliness around him and rarely does he see these faults in perspective.

Holden is important in the text as he is the text. He is 'The Catcher in the Rye' and the whole novel is around his fall and his problems. Holden's character is given a lot of depth and without this he would start to be unbelievable as a real character. As everything is seen through...