Masks in The Catcher in the Rye Essay

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Masks in The Catcher in the Rye


           What happen if everyone in the world is wearing a mask? That is

exactly what this world is;  everyone wears a mask.  Most people we see

every day have their true identity hidden behind a facade.  Although a

true identity cannot be divulge just by looking, but with a careful

scrutiny of one's character will reveal to what is behind the facade.

Equivalent to what happened in J.D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye.


      Holden Caulfield, a typical teenager in the 50's with a morally

loose, rude and obscene personality.  However, his rudeness is just a mask
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While he was waiting, there's two kids that came up and asked Holden where

is the mummies, he stated: ". . . The one little kid, the one that asked

me, had his pants open.  I told him about it.  So he buttoned them up right

where he was standing talking to me--he didn't even bother to go behind a

post or anything.  I would've laughed . . ."


      In addition, Holden displayed maturity at one point.  A positive

incident took place with his old girl friend, Jane Gallagher. While

Holden and Jane were playing checkers, Mr. Cudahy, Jane's stepfather,

asked Jane if there's any cigarettes in the house.  Jane didn't answer, so

he left.  Then Jane dropped a tear on the checkerboard. It bothered

Holden for a while.  Then Jane began to cry, and Holden kissed her.  He

also asked if Mr. Cudahy ". . . had ever tried to get wise with her."

Jane replied no, although, Holden still remain concerned on every problem

she had.  Holden's maturity shows us he has a grown-up heart behind the



      Furthermore, Holden also demonstrate his sensitivity, especially

on children.  For instance, Holden's brother, Allie, and his sister,

Phoebe, had a major impact on Holden.  He loves Phoebe, his little sister.

He loved her so much, he says:  "You never saw a

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