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J.D Salinger's "The Catcher In The Rye"

1227 words - 5 pages

"The Catcher in The Rye" is a rather amusing and fascinating book, and although at first glance Holden resembles the over-sensitive and self-conscious teen that struggles to live up to his responsibilities as "growing-to-manhood", the book is written in such a way that one can only feel pity for Holden. He has been through a lot in his age; the death of his brother, his older brother now a writer and don't see each other as much, and also the cynicism he has in regard to his college called Pencey. Throughout the book Holden explains what he is feeling, and what his opinion is on anything and everything. This novel depicts the troubles Holden has with the younger generation, and the older generation, and seeing what the youth of the world is turning into. Holden is depicted as a very judgmental, emotional, caring as shown by his treatment towards his sister, and extremely opinionated youth, although at times his views seems biased and unwanted. Holden has strayed from the path of the 'normal male stereotype' in which one must be interested in sports and girls and care about his future, but what Holden lacks in being a stereotype male he made up for his caring nature.Holden has many conflicts with the world, but one of his main conflicts is he passes judgment on people quickly and almost without care. An example is when he met Ernie he thought was "kind of snobbish person" and thought him "as one of the biggest bastards", but finally recognized that "He isn't, he just got one of those original personalities...takes time to get used to." Holden judges people on the way they interact with other people and the way they look, like the nuns, the prostitute in which made Holden "feel very depressed and sad as hell", and Stradlater, "a sexy bastard" and "very strong, and I am very weak". He doesn't let many people enter his world, so he doesn't find out too much about other people. He lived his life without seeing the true characters of people, and for this reason, he did not make many friends. His state of mind was if it said it's bad, it must be bad. Yet, despite his over-sensitive opinions, one can only feel pity for Holden, as he is simply disillusioned and trying to find his way in a maze of rights and wrongs.Holden has also failed in another aspect of life, and that is the turning into manhood and the responsibilities he faced; at school academics, and the way he was supposed to act like a man by "interested in drinks and watching the game and talking about girls". Mr. Spencer and Holden talk about his direction in life: "'Do you feel absolutely no concern for your future, boy?' 'Oh, I feel some concern for my future, all right. Sure. Sure, I do.' I thought about it for a minute. 'But not too much, I guess,'" further shows his lack of will in learning and his future. "If you want to know the truth, I'm a virgin. I really am. I've had quite a few opportunities to lose my virginity and all, but I've never got around to it yet." (Salinger 92) Holden...

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