Many authors that write about the depressing life of a teenager try to make the character’s everyday life exciting. Unlike in J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye the main character Holden Caulfield, a high school drop out, stays humorous throughout the novel even though he has to deal with many troubles and personal issues.
Throughout the novel, Holden is confronted with many topics he considers as disturbing, yet he finds reasons to stay humorous and positive about himself.
For example, when Holden gets kicked out of school.
“Do you have any particular qualms about leaving Pencey?” “Oh I have a few qualms, all right. Sure… but not too many. Not yet, anyway.”
In this scene, Holden is asked if he has any concerns about getting kicked out of school. He tries to escape the question, as he doesn't even feel bad for having to leave a school for the third time.
While talking to his teacher about being expelled from his current school Holden tries not to think about it.
“It takes me a while to hit me. All I’m doing right now is thinking about going home Wednesday.”
Here, the teenager is trying to escape from reality and cheer himself up by thinking about the upcoming holidays when he finally gets to go home and see his family.
After talking badly about a very religious boy he knew, Holden brightens up when he gets into his room at Pencey.
“It was pretty nice to get back to my room, after I left old Spencer, because everybody was down at the game, and the heat was on in our room, for a change.”
The imagery of Holden being happy to be alone in his room shows his lonesomeness and his making himself an outsider and the fact that he thinks critically of everybody.
Through the above-mentioned examples it becomes evident that Holden Caulfield’s humor is more like cheering himself up after something disturbing happens.
Although this might not be true, Holden shows his short temper when...