holdens contradictions

Essay by nicolette16High School, 12th gradeA, April 2014

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Holden Caulfield 's character struggles with his interpersonal skills. He tends to act extremely critical about his views on the people around him, to an extremely rude extent. Holden's character tends to act disrespectfully to most people he comes in contact with, and especially towards people he classifies as "phonies" meaning they're boring or stereotypical. Holden's inability to have a good relationship with his peers, superiors, or other characters in the novel should spark a concern for his parents. One of the first relationships that we are introduced to in the novel, is Mr. Spencers and Holden. This relationship is the first example of him ignoring any help or advice that is provided to him. Mr. Spencer, in the nicest way, and with no intention to be rude, tries to teach him that "Life is a game that one plays according to the rules" [8] He tries to explain to Holden that in order to be successful in any aspect in his life he has to make an effort.

Holden can't expect to pass English without opening a book. An to this he responds with an obvious lie that he "glanced through it a couple of times" [11], which in his mind was to not "hurt his feelings." [11] From an outside perspective however, its obvious that the only person he is hurting by not opening the book was himself, because he ended up failing the course. In addition, when they're almost at the end of their visit, Holden mentions how everything Mr. Spencer is saying to him is "crap" [11] and getting his essay read to him is just a "dirty trick" [11] From this, its assumed that he really doesn't understand, or let Mr. Spencers help or advice sink in or have any meaning or...