Holden Caulfield Analysis

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It’s hard to not appreciate The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, but’s it’s also hard to be one hundred percent involved in the narrator’s, Holden Caulfield, life. The journey of a young boy and his youth is fascinating, enjoyable even; however, Holden’s isn’t the typical life of a sixteen year old. Holden has a unique personality, unique life experiences, and an independence that can rival all of the angsty teens he grows up with. Since the story is told by Holden, we get an uncensored (yet subjective) view of a seventeen year old boy from the late 40s/early 50s. The seventeen year old psyche must be quite different from either that of someone from that time and now, males and females, or perhaps both because Holden is not a pleasant person. He’s arrogant, self-pitying, and expects too much from the world. Not to say that seventeen year olds don’t act like this, but to be most of one’s personality… We see the extreme’s of Holden’s personality whenever he’s with other people that he knows he won’t be seeing again for a long time. When he talks to Spencer for the last time before leaving, and is asked why he left so many other schools, Holden thinks, and Salinger writes, “He wouldn’t have understood it anyway… One of the biggest reasons I left Elkton Hills was because I was surrounded by phonies. That’s all. They were coming in the goddam window. (19)” This exemplifies both his arrogance and his tendency to expect things that don’t have to be given to him. Holden is
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