Catcher In The Rye


The book " Catcher in the Rye" tells of Holden Caulfield's
insights about life and the world around him. Holden shares
many of his opinions about people and leads the reader on a
five day visit into his mind. Holden, throughout the book,
made other people feel inferior. 
Throughout the book, Holden portrayed others to be inferior
to himself. He made several references as to how people
aren't as perfect as he was. "The reason he [Stradlater]
fixed himself up to look good was because he was madly in
love with himself." (pg. 27) Holden had an inferiority
complex. He was afraid of not having any special talents or
abilities and used other methods to make him out to be a
rough tough boy. "Boy, I sat at that goddam bar till around
one o'clock or so, getting drunk as a bastard. I could
hardly see straight." (pg. 150) Holden tried all he could
to fit in, he drank, cursed and criticized life in general
to make it seem he was very knowing of all. I myself have
found me doing this too at times. I at times feel the need
to fit in to a group and do things similar to what others
do in order to gain acceptance by them. I smoked a cigar
once with two friends of mine because they kept going on
and on about how great cigars were, but that was only once.
Holden and I both place people on levels other than our own
for amount of knowledge and likeness to ourselves.
Holden used the term 'phonies' to describe more than a few
people in this book. He used the term to be what a person
is if they don't act naturally and follow other people's
manners and grace. Holden didn't like phonies, he thought
of them as if they were trying to show off. He didn't like
it when they showed off because it seemed so fake and
unnatural every time they'd do so.
"At the end of the first act we went out with all the other
jerks for a cigarette. What a deal that was. You never saw
so many phonies in all your life, everybody smoking their
ears off and talking about the play so that everybody could
hear how sharp they were." (pg. 126) I know many people
like this as well. I do not like phonies either. I have
many friends who talk using full vocabulary just to try to
impress you, and others who do make note of everything they
see to show you how perceptible they are. People do this
when they have a fear of their own individuality and feel
that they need to ace different to get people to like them.
Holden and I both dislike phonies. We do not like people
who take on roles of others to seem more likable because
they are insecure.
Throughout the book Holden displays a lack of motivation
for many things in which he should do. Holden couldn't even
call up an old girlfriend whom he knew a long time ago.
"But when I got inside this phone booth, I wasn't much in
the mood any more to give old Jane a buzz." (Pg. 150)
Holden also had a problem getting his motivation together
in order to complete schoolwork and succeed in his prep
school. He feels his parents will be there to move him
somewhere else and take care of him every time something
goes wrong.


Quotes: Search by Author