Character Analysis - Holden Caulfield

Topics: Joan Caulfield, Sibling Pages: 3 (978 words) Published: January 25, 2009
From all the books I’ve read, Holden Caulfield is the most unique character I have encountered thus far. Since the beginning, I was oddly intrigued by his blatant pessimism towards life. Additionally, he acquires a negligent outlook on education, having been expelled from a myriad of prestigious schools, including the most recent one Pencey. He lacks not intelligence, but motivation.

To say that Holden finds it difficult to get along with other people is an understatement. The truth is he despises the general population of the planet, constantly scrutinizing and labelling them as “phony” or “lousy”. An assortment of things irritates him, comprising of arrogance, poor hygiene, insecurity, boringness, selfishness, hypocrisy, etc… Basically he is fed up with everything and anything, and struggles gravely to cope with this world. He strongly and habitually censures the actions of those around him, although he himself is not much different.

While many guys his age would welcome a night of reckless sex, Holden is very prudent regarding this matter. Despite the fact that he is easily turned on and vigorously tries to get laid, what he really believes is that intercourse should only happen where true love is present. When Holden discovers his roommate fooling around with a girl he obviously didn’t care about, he confronts him with “you’re a dirty stupid sonuvab***h of a moron” (58). Holden’s life is no doubt deranged, to a degree that he is lost in his own realm of rebellion and deceit. In fact, he even admits “I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life” (22), fully aware that it’s unethical yet still displaying a sense of pride. As the plot unveils, the reader is informed that Holden is currently a patient at a mental sanctuary.

As preposterous as it may sound, Holden reminds me somewhat of myself. Now, by no means am I an emotional wreck, it’s just that I can identify with several of his viewpoints. I get along fine with most people, but I tend to...
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