Holden Caulfield - The Catcher In The Rye

Essay by BluenotesBabyHigh School, 11th gradeA-, November 2002

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Holden Caulfield

J.D. Salinger gives Holden a realistic voice and perspective that the reader can identify with. We are able to understand how Holden has come to view this world of his through his past experiences and reactions to life's situations. He is a very unique character that doesn't exactly fit into a common stereo type. Although he is similar to some boys his age, Holden's beliefs and values often contrast with those of his peers. Holden finds it difficult to relate to his schoolmates and he isolates himself from the entire environment. He separates the world he knows into two different groups of people. The group he is in consists of people like his siblings Allie and Phoebe. Most other people are just lumped into another group he refers to as phonies. Holden appreciates the memories he shared with Allie and Phoebe's opinion and views on life.

When Phoebe says "You don't like anything that's happening" (pg69) Holden becomes extremely defensive and tries to persuade Phoebe out of believing that. He doesn't want to disappoint her because she is such an important person to him in his life. Because Holden doesn't need his parent's or any of his peers' approval, the few people that he does value in his life mean everything to him.

Holden's parents did not demonstrate much affection towards him during the novel because they were always sending him away to boarding school after boarding school. Because Holden is unable to find many positive things in his life this taints his view of the world and we see that very little can bring him joy. Allie, his favorite brother died of leukemia a few years back and he is still very upset about that and finds it hard to let go. Holden often dwells...