Character Analysis of Holden Caulfield

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Holden Exposed
In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, by: JD Salinger, the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, is a seventeen year old boy telling a story of around last Christmas when he spent his weekend in New York. Holden is a very opinionated character. He is a character that has been related to by teenagers over the last 60 years. Holden learns throughout the book that childhood innocence can not be protected forever. Everybody needs to grow up at one time or another. This is a great lesson to be learned by readers. At some point in every successful person’s life they realized that the needed to mature and become a responsible, functioning adult. Holden Caulfield is a character that is unique in many ways; he also has many weaknesses, such as his irresponsibility, his loneliness, and his extremely depressed state.

Holden proves to the readers of the novel his true level of irresponsibility. In the first chapter of the novel, after being asked Mr. Spencer how his parents would respond to him being kicked out of school he said, “’This is about the fourth school I’ve gone to’” (9). Holden is irresponsible in the way that without his parents there to guide him, he gets no work done. This causes him to flunk out of his fourth school. Holden also explains to his readers the fact that he is failing four of his five classes. The only class he is passing is English, and he doesn’t have a very good grade there. Holden also was responsible for the foils of the fencing team. Holden was supposed to bring the foils to and from the match, but Holden leaves the foils on the subway in New York. This causes his entire fencing team to forfeit the match. Holden blames the lost foils on his team getting on the wrong subway on the way to the arena. He needed to get up and look at the map to find the right stop. He claims that he got distracted by the map, thus causing him to forget the equipment.

Holden is a very lonely child. He has trouble maintaining a...
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