Catcher in the Rye Essay Characterization

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By: Ella Goldberg
Characterization
Being different is difficult, especially when you’re a teenager. It’s not easy being singled out and feeling like the bad apple. Standing apart from others can be hard and takes courage. Society does not appreciate misfits, especially trouble makers who don’t make any effort to succeed. There is nothing wrong with being different and standing up for what you believe in but Holden goes about it in an arrogant way. It’s as if he sets himself apart from his peers on purpose because he does not want to be phony, just like them. Holden sees a major part of the people in his life as phony, which he tries to isolate himself from, this in turn makes him quite antisocial in every aspect of his life.

Holden dislikes every school he’s been to, claiming everyone involved is either phony or mean. Holden shows antisocial behavior towards his academic life because he never tries at any school he refuses to put in effort and refuses to be like the very people he despises. He is smart considering Stradlater asks him to write his composition for him even though Holden is failing and getting kicked out “Just don’t do it too good is all” (Salinger 28). Holden just does not want to try but he is still intelligent “So I mean don’t stick all the commas and stuff in the right place” (Salinger 28). Holden automatically assumes that everyone is a phony that think highly of themselves “It was one of the worst schools I ever went to. it was full of phonies. And mean guys. You never saw so many mean guys in your life” (Salinger 28). He doesn’t seem to care much about the fact that he has gotten kicked out of yet another school. Also, he didn’t try to make any friends worth keeping, he never thought there might be people like him who are just trying to live their lives but not be a part of the phoniness. These are good examples of how Holden comes off as antisocial because he is showing that he does not want to succeed at these schools purely because...
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