Jules Renard once said that, “Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.” This quote means that a person can be considered lazy if they do not give all of their effort towards something or if they give up before they can’t work anymore. This is true in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye because Holden Caulfield, the main character in the novel, exemplifies a great deal of laziness and his inability to care about important things. This is illustrated through the use of many different literary elements such as characterization, plot, dialogue and conflict.
In the beginning of the novel, we learn that Holden attends Pencey Prep School in Agerstown, Pennsylvania, an all boy’s school. We immediately are able to see his pessimistic character and bad attitude towards life when he doesn’t want to, “tell you my whole goddam autobiography or anything” (Salinger, 1). He doesn’t give much description of himself, but he does state that, “around last Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out to here (to Pencey) to take it easy (Salinger, 1). Holden thought the school was terrible any way you look at it and was full of crooks and people who he didn’t care for. As a result he showed very little school spirit, as exemplified when practically every one of the students attended the biggest football game of the year against Saxon Hill, except for him. With already having a cynical view on the course that his life has been taking, Holden’s nonchalance does not work much to his advantage. “I was flunking four subjects and not applying myself and all. They gave me frequent warning to start applying myself- especially around midterms, when my parents came up for a conference with old Thurmer- but I didn’t do it. So I got the ax” (Salinger, 4). This quote by Holden reveals the character trait of indolence and shows that even though the school reached out to him, he did not respond. Although he had been...
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