Holden Caulfield: Lost in the Crowd

Topics: Meaning of life, The Catcher in the Rye, Truth Pages: 1 (420 words) Published: December 14, 2013
Holden Caulfield is your regular teenage guy, or so he longs to be. Throughout J.D Salinger’s entire novel, The Catcher in the Rye, we see clear evidence that Holden is alienated from most people, and that he does this by choice. Our narrator sees the adult world as a dirty, perverted place, full of phonies and hate; thus the only people who are ‘acceptable’ to him, are children who are still pure and ‘clean’. Very early in the first chapter, Holden begins to express his solitude. “Anyway, it was the Saturday of the football game. I remember around three o'clock that afternoon I was standing way the hell up on top of Thomsen Hill. You could see the whole field from there, and you could see the two teams bashing each other all over the place. You could hear them all yelling.” (Salinger 4) In the rest of this chapter, Holden continues to describe how the entire school was there on that field, meaning he was the only one who was not there. He never goes and interacts, only stays a not-so-silent observer. Another clear instance of alienation was in chapter 26 “If you want to know the truth, I don't know what I think about it. I'm sorry I told so many people about it. About all I know is, I sort of miss everybody I told about. Even old Stradlater and Ackley, for instance. I think I even miss that goddam Maurice. It's funny. Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” (Salinger 277) the fact that Holden groups Maurice, the elevator pimp, with his old peers shows us that Holden was so desperate for companionship, that any interaction was a ‘personal connection’, enough to miss them. Holden’s values vs. his actions reveal the complex duality of his character. While he values honesty and sincerity, he lies and convinces himself that these lies are the truth. A good example of this is the title of the novel, The Catcher In The Rye. The original poem by Robert Burns poses the question “is casual sex okay?”. Holden twists the meaning of...
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