Holden Caufield's distinct personality in J.D. Salinger's novel, "The Catcher in the Rye".

Essay by louischick10High School, 11th gradeA+, October 2003

download word file, 1 pages 5.0

Holden Caufield, the main character in J.D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye, has two distinct sides to his personality. He is sometimes sarcastic and cynical, and he is sometimes kind and sweet. The majority of the book is in Holden's sarcastic and cynical personality. One instance that we see this is towards the beginning of the book when Holden is in his room and Ackley barges in. At one point Holden says, "How 'bout sitting down or something, Ackley kid." Holden later mentions, "It drove him mad when I called him Ackley kid". Obviously Holden does not mind irritating people on purpose. Another instance that we see these characteristics of Holden is the night he leaves Pencey. At the top of his voice he yells, "Sleep tight, ya morons!" This clearly shows that he thinks lowly of the "bastards" at Pencey. Holden's other personality, sweet and kind, also plays an important role in the book.

We see these traits shine when Holden talks about Allie. Holden thinks about Allie, his deceased brother, a lot. Holden feels very guilty because he is still living and Allie had to die. He does not feel he should be able to live anymore because it is not fair. This shows how caring and compassionate Holden can be. This personality also shows when Sunny the prostitute comes to Holden's hotel room. Sunny seems to be in a hurry and wants to get it over with, but when Holden realizes how young she is it depresses him. He is feeling peculiar and says he just wants to talk. Holden really just wants someone to hold a logical conversation with. Throughout the entire book Holden has two clashing personalities. This makes it hard to distinguish who he really is. Is he cynical and...