Catcher in the Rye Essay on Holden's Inconsistencies

Topics: Life, Meaning of life, The Reader Pages: 2 (753 words) Published: May 13, 2013
Catcher in the rye essay

‘It is his inconsistencies that make Holden compelling as a character.’ I completely agree with this statement, as Holden’s significant inconsistencies are what make him an insightful, genuine and compelling character.

A world without inconsistencies would be very boring. As humans we are all drawn to the odd/ interesting things in life to some extent. This is why Holden is so compelling as a character; it is because he is different from the conformists of the world he lives in. As we can see in chapter 2 when Mr. Spencer says ‘life is a game boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules.’ We may think at first Holden thinks life is a game, however he believes the opposite, he is deathly serious about life, but he doesn’t accept the rules set before him by ‘phony’ adults. Another way that Holden is inconsistent with the world around him that makes him a compelling character is that he demands authenticity. For example in Ernie’s piano bar he believes Ernie is a ‘phony as he makes his music fake with trills and fancy technical display to impress the crowed (‘terrific snob’) As Holden demands authenticity he also doesn’t want art to be an occasion for egotistic exhibition. He thinks to himself, ‘I was surrounded by jerks.’

Another inconsistency that makes him a compelling character is his hypercritical tendency to lie, however be always true to the reader: ‘im always sayin glad to’ve met you to some one I’m not at all glad to meet, if you want to stay alive you have to say that stuff though.’ This quote also underscores his entire philosophy of life. He attempts not to keep himself alive but, but to keep the innocence of those around him. He also wants them to think he is really glad to meet them in order to preserve their innocence. Another example of many, is in the train talking to Morrows mother, he tells us, ‘her some was doughtless the biggest basted that ever went to Pency, in the whole crumby history of the...
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