How Holden Caufield Would Respond to High School

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"How Holden Caulfield Would Respond To High School"

A high school is a very informative learning environment, albeit a very interesting one. The school presents a wide variety of people in a wide variety of surroundings. Holden Caulfield, the main character in J.D. Salinger's novel, The Catcher In The Rye, would not be unreasonably out of place in high school, but a few peculiarities would stick out. Holden Caulfield would be teed off middle scholars sharing the bus with the high scholars, the unrelenting graffiti plaguing the walls of high school and people he would deem phonies. Holden's school day would result in poor feelings from the beginning, on the school bus.

Holden would be picked up on the bus and immediately be shocked. With the rampant amount of swearing that goes on the bus, Holden would seem to fit in, judging by his language in the novel. But Holden has a softer side, one that if a child were to fall over a cliff, he would want to "come out from somewhere and catch them" (173). It is an interesting point that Holden has a soft spot for children, but he uses such profane words as "goddam" and "bastard" around his kid sister Phoebe. Perhaps he develops exceptions to his personality based on his family. But as for kids that Holden does not know going to a school and observing graffiti, Holden has to put his foot down and get mad.

Holden would take one look around the school and instantly be appalled. When he sees the rampant F!@# yous, he would want to remove it to protect children. Indeed, when Holden is at Phoebe's school, he sees a bit of profanity on the wall and removes it, simply because "all the other little kids (will) see it" (201). Holden has a soft spot for little kids, perhaps because he is not ready to be and adult and slightly immature himself. Maybe Holden does not want to grow up; he says the wrong things at the wrong times and is viewed as an adolescent by many characters in the novel. But, alas, Holden's day is not over...
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