English 10 Honors
Ms. Moreno, Period 6
March 15 2012
Isolating the Variable
Inside J.D. Salingers classic novel, Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, is a social outcast and is isolated in his own world. He has a way of pushing people away with his quirky personality and constant need to not just feel but be different from the average person. In order to feel special Holden makes up stories to impress others. It “Slips off [his] tongue like turpentine”, which is another way of saying he is a compulsive liar (Lambert). This turns people away from him even more because his lies are so outrageous that they aren’t believable. An example would be when Holden told Stradlatter he was the governors’ son, “it never really added up” (Lambert). Holden’s open admissions to hating people on a daily basis make it hard for him to make friends. He “Hate[s] everything about [them]” (Three Days Grace). He contradicts his feelings sometimes though in his own head and goes from hatred to acceptance. He has to accept the negative things he sees in the people around him because he would be completely alone otherwise. All his real feelings are kept inside Bowes 2
“when he stops to think about it” (Three Days Grace). He really just wants to “Be someone like [them]”, them being his peers (Safetysuit). “What’s my age again?” is a frequent tone in Holden’s attitude (Blink182). He is very immature and “[people] say [he] should act his age” (Blink182). Holden refuses to grow up because with growing up comes responsibilities. He also seems to not want to grow up because once you’re an adult you’re on your own and acting like a child is another way to cling onto people, mostly authority figures, for a long time. It’s very hypocritical considering he is always complaining about adults and how they boss him around, when in reality he wants that more than anything because it’s a sign that they acknowledge his existence. He wants acceptance and for...