By: Erik Hansen
J. Donald Walters once wrote, "Self-acceptance comes from meeting life's challenges vigorously. Don't numb yourself to your trials and difficulties, nor build mental walls to exclude pain from your life. You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory." J. Donald Walters was right. You have to stand up and face your hardships, not pack them away to deal with later, if you ever want to find peace. This is something Holden Caulfield learned through experience.
Holden Caulfield is a perfect example of a person in denial. Holden seems to believe that everything that happens to him is because of someone else's actions and that none of his mishaps have come around due to his own poor judgment. He is denying that he often makes terrible decisions. Soon enough, he gets over that, but doesn't get over the fact that he has ongoing issues that he needs to be aware of and start to resolve. Holden hides his emotions and problems just like he packs away his belongings in suitcases. Once he is done packing his suitcases, he puts them out of sight or locks them up. It's as if Holden doesn't want to let people get to know the true Holden because he doesn't want to seem attached to others because he is afraid that when he's the closest he can be to someone, he will screw it up and end up hurt. Holden is not the only one that feels this way but that doesn't mean he can't try to be himself and let others get to know the most of him. Maybe if he started getting closer to people he would realize that the world is not perfect and that there will be times when you get hurt or something happens that you can't fix, like losing someone close to you.
Friends are what make it possible to get through life. Holden might not admit that he has any, but at the end of the book he thinks about all the people that he told us about and says, "About all I know is, I...
1. Quote by J. Donald Walters a Romanian author and lecturer.
2. Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. New York: LB and company, 1945
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