“The Catcher In The Rye”In the novel The Catcher In The Rye we read about a sixteen year old boy namedHolden Caulfield. The story starts off telling us about how he gets kicked out of a preppyHigh School and uses his parents money to move to New York. Throughout the story wesee Holden expressing different types of personality: The one he shows the world, which Ibelieve is that he is an intelligent young man that doesn’t try, who he thinks he is, whichis a depressed person who is looking for companionship, and who he really is, a sacredkid who who doesn’t know what he wants out of life.
Holden went to Pencey Prep., which is a High School in Agerstown Pennsylvania.
He was thrown out of the school because he was failing almost all his classes except forEnglish. Holden has the ability to pass his classes and even with good grades but hedoesn’t apply himself. This is what Holden shows the world, he is capable of passing andis intelligent but doesn’t try.
“They gave me frequent warning to start applyingmyself-especially around midterms,…but I didn’t do it.” (Salinger 4) Also as Holden talksthroughout the story we can tell that he is very intelligent because of the way he describeseverything, even though his grammar isn’t so well.
Underneath Holden’s act of being this kid who just doesn’t try I think inside hethinks he is depressed and doesn’t care about anything. He gets kicked out of High Schooland doesn’t try to go to another one, instead he goes to New York looking for sex andtraveling form bar to bar for people to talk to. He winds up talking with people he reallydoesn’t like because he is just looking for companionship, like the three girls he met inthe bar and the taxi cab driver who he talks to about what happens to the fish in the lakewhen it freezes. He even hires a prostitute to have sex but winds just talking to her aboutnothing because essentially he wants to a friend. He says to the prostitute “Don’t you feellike talking for a while” (Salinger 95)In my opinion, Holden is really scared of life. He doesn’t know what he wants outof it and he is afraid that if he tries to get what he wants he will screw it up. For exampleHolden asks old Sally to run away with him and settle down in Vermont or Mass. but hereally is in love with Jane Gallagher. “Jane Gallagher. Jesus. I couldn’t get her out of mymind. I really couldn’t.” (Salinger 32) I think that the reason he doesn’t express himself toher is because if she doesn’t feel the same way about him he will be devastated. Thereforehe is afraid of his life and what might become of it.
As you can see Holden does have three levels of personality, as does any person. Imyself can analyze my own life and break down my personality. I show the world that Iam both tough and smart and I believe that I am tough and smart, but in reality, though Imay be smart, I am far from tough.
To my parents, teachers, and adult figures I show them that I am a smart andrespectful young man. My grades and ability to argue my opinion show that I amintelligent and my manors show my respect to those who deserve it. Now to my friendsand peers I show that I am tough because I myself need to be respected by my peers andunfortunately I can’t get that from smarts. I can’t show weakness to anyone because than Iwill get walked all over, so if people think I can fight and that I am tough, than I won’thave to fight.
Now to myself I know that I am clever in my own way and likewise my gradesshow that I am. True this may sound conceded but I am smart and I know it. Also I like tothink to myself that I am tough and I believe that I can beat the crap out of anyone whochallenges me. Also I like to believe that I have no enemies and that I will never have toworry about getting into a fight.
But lets face it in all reality I do have enemies and I am not tough and I know I amnot tough. For cristssake my ex-girlfriend could beat me up. So when the day comes thatsomeone challenges my toughness is the day when I get my ass kicked. Also in reality Idon’t show respect to those who deserve it, in fact most of the time I disrespect those whoreally deserve it.
In all honesty I do contradict myself here. I say that I think I am tough and showthat I am but I know that I am not. This doesn’t make any sense. But let me try to explain,the reason that I can think I am tough even though I know I am not is because I have toshow it and If I don’t believe myself than how will other people believe that I an tough.
When I look at this as a whole it makes me sound pretty pathetic. It makes me sound likeI am constantly lying to myself and others. But than again I have to, if I don’t lie tomyself and I choose to be truthful and be myself, I will be miserable. With the ability tolie to myself I can make my life more pleasurable. If I think I am a good person, that tomyself I am a good person, when in reality I am a treble person.
I have to say this self analysis has really opened my eyes to see what kind ofperson I actually am, and I don’t like it. So let me just fall into my mentality of lying tomyself and simply say that I really do like myself and my life and because I think this thatI do like myself and my life. But in reality I don’t.
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