Life's Choices

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19 November 2001 Essay #6 Life's Choices Holden Caulfield, an intelligent troubled young man, whose choices lead him to one down fall after another that proves choices change Holden's life in a plethora of ways. Holden's life depends upon his achievement for happiness, his maturity, and his personal views on life.

A sensitive intelligent person achieves true happiness at a more difficult pace than others. Holden surveys people and events so deeply that it always depresses him. Holden looks at most people as morons. He does not like or care about basically all men and women. Analyzing deeply develops one's view to see the corruption, wrong, and unlivable things. Holden looks at the piano player in this fashion: It was very phony. I mean him being such a big snob and all. In a funny way, though, I felt sort of sorry for him when he was finished.

I don't even think he knows anymore when he's playing right or not. It isn't his fault. I partly blame all those dopes that clap their heads off - they'd foul up anybody if you gave them a chance. Anyway, it made me feel depressed and lousy again….(84) This quote shows just how Holden looks into everything and the negativity he views. His intelligence shines in how deeply he also analyzes the situation. His sensitivity creates a depressed feeling in his heart. Holden feels lousy about everything. This eventually affects his achievement for happiness because he can not look at the good even in toughing out graduating from high school. On the other hand happiness can begin with maturity.

Maturity begins when a person recognizes his or her weaknesses and summons inner strength. Holden did not really mature until he opened his eyes and saw his weakness. He never took responsibility and always chose the wrong path to take. He really sees the light when Phoebe tries to run away with him: "I'm going with you. Can I? Okay? "What?" I said. I almost fell over when she that (206).

Holden realized how much she cared for him and what she would do just to be with her brother. He needed to see his love for Phoebe and take responsibility if not for himself then for her sake. He summoned inner strength of love and decided to be a better role model for Phoebe. Holden's view of Phoebe and others dictates how he lives his life.

Holden views basically everyone and everything with a negative attitude. Phoebe recognizes this: "You don't like anything that's happening." It made me even more depressed when she said that… "Don't say that. Why the hell do you say that?" "Because you don't. You don't like a million things…."(171) This causes Holden to think. Holden drops out of school after school, hurts himself and his whole family on the way, because of his negative attitude. Basically because of the way Holden negatively looks at everyone it dictates how he chooses to live his life. He drops out of school because he hates everyone at all of them and thinks they are morons. He changes because of these same choices. He dictates his life to a new purpose: Phoebe. He loves her and does not want to make the wrong choices and be a horrible influence anymore. He changes for his love for his kid sister.

Holden's love for Phoebe helps him achieve true happiness, mature, and take a more positive attitude on life's personal views. He comes to an actualization in himself of caring for everyone: I didn't know what the hell to say. If you want to know the truth, I don't know what I think about it. I'm sorry I told so many people about it. About all I know is, I sort of miss everybody I told about…It's funny. Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody. (214) He even cared about the morons. Everyone does eventually, good choices, or bad, the bad just builds character and teaches lessons and morals.