|Term Paper Title
||The Catcher In The Rye
|# of Words
|# of Pages (250 words per page double spaced)
The Catcher in the Rye
A regular teenager that has a little problem in school and that has a little bit of an attitude problem. That is how you might describe Holden Caufield, the main character in the novel "The Catcher In The Rye", at first glance. But as you get deeper into the story and Holdens personality, you realize that it is much more than that. The novel itself focuses on a time period around Christmas in one of Holdens teenage years. In this time period we see that Holden Caufield is not just your average teenager with an attitude problem. We see that he is a very complex individual with many different puzzling, exiting, daring, and sometimes even scary personality traits. I am going to show you in this essay some of his traits. I will show you how Holden is a very contemporary kind of teen, his angst towards the world around him and to the people around him, his contempt for what he calls "phonies", his tendencies to be a pathological liar at times, his total disregard for his future, his total disregard for schooling, his feelings for his family, his impulsive tendencies, his tendency to spend large amounts of money at the drop of a hat for no apparent reason, his growing alcoholic tendencies, his manic depression, and how I think the story ended, with his attempted suicide. Again the character of Holden Caufield is a very complex one, with many different elements, but hopefully I can get to the root of him.
One of the first things that I noticed when I was reading this novel was the fact that for Holdens time period, he was a pretty contemporary type guy. He didn't seem like a loser, in fact, he was popular with the ladies. This fact pretty much dispels the idea that he may have been lashing out at the world that deemed him a loser. Holden spoke with all of the current slang terms for that time like "bang", and also like any other teenage boy he cussed a lot, usually using the word "goddam". "Goddam" was used about 8 million times in this book. He also had a pretty steady girlfriend whenever he was in New York, named Sally Hayes. He had friends at all of the schools he went to, although he seemed not to like many of them, but they were still his friends. All in all he seemed like a pretty popular guy and that didn't seem to be the reason for his angst.
Angst was one of the main tools used in this novel. Holden is a very angst filled person. He has angst directed toward just about every person he knows and has never met. He fought Stradlater just because he was thinking about Stradlater and Jane Gallagher and how Stradlater might have tried to put the moves on Jane when they went out on their date. Angst sort of fuels Holden, he always seems to be angry at something, most of the time the people he calls "phonies".
Holden Caufield seems to have a passion for a certain thing, his hatred of what he likes to refer to as "phonies". From what I gather Holden thinks phonies are basically people who "sell out" or "sell their souls". This basically means Holden does not like people that pick a certain career because it makes them a lot of money, does anything to please other people, or basically people who give up their own happiness to please other people. Holden will also refer to "phonies" as "prostitutes". He refers to his brother D.B. as a prostitute. His brother D.B. used to write short stories and books, but he now writes scripts for movies in Hollywood. Holden said, "Now he's out in Hollywood, being a prostitute"(p.2). It seems that with Holdens personality, it is pretty mixed up and confused, but there is one thing that is for sure, he does not by any means want to be a phony.
It seems kind of funny to me, but Holden at times can be a pathological liar. He even said this about his lying, "Once I get started, I can go on for hours if I feel like it."(p.54) The thing that is funny about it to me is that Holden has a lot of contempt for people that he considers phonies, but he lies all the time, and when he does lie, it isn't in sets of one but in huge streaks. He will e...
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