a character study of Salinger's Holden Caufield of "The Catcher in the Rye"

Essay by Callye KeenHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 1996

download word file, 2 pages 4.2

Holden Caufield was a high school student at a boy's academy by the name of Pency Prep. He feels as though he had fought the world and lost, everyone is against him and that little can bring him joy. He had lost his innocence, and saw himself as a 'catcher in the rye', trying to save children from his fate.

Holden is quite the eccentric individual. I say this because of the incident with Sally Hayes where he proclaims his love for her and how they should run off together. The reason this makes him an eccentric is, he hates her and in his own words 'Sally you're a pain in the ___!' Holden Caufield has many bad qualities including one of his favorite pastimes getting rip-roaring drunk. A good example of this is one of the many bar scenes when he gets quite drunk and asks the waiter to complement the singer.

This is a show of his drunkenness because the singer is awful or at least the thought so before he started drinking. This is one among a plethora of bad habits like smoking, cursing, and being extremely cynical (everyone is a phony). Holden is by far not all bad, inside he is moral and generous. There are very clear examples of these good qualities. He had some moral sense because when 'bought' the prostitute Sunny for a throw he could not go threw with it, so he paid her anyway and sent her away from him. Holden was charitable when he gave a considerably large donation of twenty dollars to the two nuns.

This action was nothing other than an act of pure kindness.

Holden Caufield has a foil or an opposite in the story, The Catcher in the Rye. This person is his younger sister, Phoebe.