Who Is This Compulsive Liar?

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Thomas Kim
Period 1
3/15/10

Who Exactly is this Compulsive Liar?

Trivial and interesting are the personality traits that come to mind when thinking of the character, Holden Caulfield. The title of the book by JD Salinger reveals much about the personality of Caulfield. Holden Caulfield, the main character of The Catcher in the Rye, is explained in great detail with the title. The life experiences of Caulfield have shaped him in each and every way. Holden Caulfield’s personality is revealed to be protecting, childish, and at the same time very confused.

Holden Caulfield’s personality is very protective and the title of the novel explains how so. For example, Caulfield says, “…I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all,” (Salinger 173). Holden wants to prevent any harm from happening to the children. He is willing to catch all of the children that may fall off the cliff in the rye. This shows that he wants to protect the children at all costs. His main goal is to protect them from all of the dangers in the outside world. Caulfield does not want them exposed to the harsh truths of the real world and all of the “phonies” that exist within its world. Holden goes absolutely insane when he notices the vulgar writing on the wall in Phoebe’s school (Salinger 201). Caulfield is overprotective around all children, but especially his little sister. He wants them to stay innocent as long as possible. That is why he wishes to be the catcher in the rye. He catches them and keeps them safe from all the dangers of the real world. Holden states that he feels less depressed when he sees the boy singing “If a body catch a body coming through the rye,” (Salinger 115). This alleviates Caulfield’s mood because he sees that the boy is still a little boy at heart. The boy is authentic, and not a phony. Holden enjoys that he hasn’t been exposed to the truths of the adult world. Furthermore, Holden...
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