The Character Of Holden

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2008

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Character Sketch After reading chapters one through six we can have a brief understanding or interpretation of the character Holden from the novel The Catcher In The Rye.

We know that Holden in sixteen years of age; he stands around six foot two and has grey hair. Other then that we are not given any more information of his physical appearance through the first six chapters, which is understandable considering that the story is written from first person.

Holden acts young for his age, he even admits to that. He is quit frequently horsing around such as play fighting with Stradlater, tap dancing in the washroom, and acting as someone in a movie when he wears his hat. I think that Holden feels as though people never notice him, so to get others to recognize him he acts in these childish ways.

We obviously know that Holden does not enjoy school at all.

The question is why doesn't he like school? He has been through four different schools, he has recently been kicked out of Pencey for having failing marks, and he doesn't have much concern for his future. I do not believe that he is a moron as he calls himself. I find him to be rather intelligent. He does like to read a lot and he is a terrific liar, he will lie about anything and everything. To be a good liar you need to be able to persuade people and that is a quality that he has. I also find that he is always interpreting and analyzing the actions that people do. For example, the way he explains the headmaster at his school is a phony, he serves steak the night before the parents come to visit so they will ask their children what they ate and they will be impressed. He even interprets the behavioral patterns of Holden's housemates Ackley and Stradlater.

I also think that Holden is a little jealous of Stradlater because he is always commenting on how nice of a body structure he has as well as his good looks and charming personality. At the same time Holden admires and looks up to him as we read about the time when he sits in the washroom beside Stradlater watching him shave, asking him many questions, and he also wrote that essay for him.

Holden is very considerate of other people's feelings. On that Saturday night Mal Brossard and himself where headed into town to get something to eat and catch a movie. Feeling sorry for Ackley he invited him to come along with them because he really didn't have many friends to socialize with and he would probably end up sitting in his room for the rest of the night.

There are two items (his new hat, and his brother's baseball glove) which he cherishes very much and shows me that he has some morals. The reason I believe why he loves his hat so much is because whenever he puts it on he feels like a different person, he imagines that he is someone else. The way he indulges his brother's baseball glove is a sign of how much he loved Allie. So far in this novel Allie is one of the two people in which Holden explains that he had a good relationship with. His love for his brother was shown when he was extremely upset with his death and as a result he smashed all the windows in his garage. He also ripped up the composition on Allie's baseball glove that he wrote for Stradlater after he said that it was no good to him.

The second person that Holden explains, in which he has had a good relationship with was Jane Gallagher. That is why he is so curious and nervous about Stradlater dating her. He was a little shaky of the chance to go and talk to her probably because he hadn't seen her in a long time and he would feel too awkward talking to her.

He is not very violent as he calls himself a pacifist (one who doesn't like to fight). The only reason he fought Stradlater was because of the disrespect he had for Jane, all he wanted was to fool around with her, and he didn't even remember her name.

After only reading six chapter of this novel I have interpreted many aspects of why the character Holden says and does the things he does. He is a very interesting character and I think that is what makes this book so good. As the book goes on I'm sure we will have an even greater understanding of Holden.