Holden Caulfield Undertakes a Journey of Personal Discovery.

Topics: Emotion, Judgment, Psychology Pages: 2 (837 words) Published: August 24, 2013
Holden Caulfield undertakes a journey of personal discovery. Every journey begins with a first step. What are Holden’s first steps? How does his character react to the world around him as he begins his ‘hero’s quest’? Holden Caulfield is an extremely unique character. Through his inability to conform to the rules of the adult world that he is sucked into, he frequently criticizes people and is extremely judgemental to those around him. He calls people who reject him “phonies”, as a way to psychologically defend himself to control his emotions and preserve his childhood. His innocence that he unknowingly tries to protect constantly reminds us of his juggling between childhood and adulthood. He is sucked into and fascinated by the adult world, but still has the actions and emotions of a child. As we progress through the book though, his opinions and judgements slowly change and widen, which reveals the first steps of his “hero’s quest”. Holden’s first step is very significant in the first few chapters of the novel. It shows the reader Holden’s “Ordinary World”. Holden, having been kicked out of three classes, and failing four out of his five classes as his current school, Pency Prep, received a notice that he was being expelled. He goes and visits his old history teacher Spencer, but when he is lectured about his future, although he appears to play along with Spencer in his conversation, “shooting the bull”, eventually leads to him lying to end it, and is clearly annoyed with the fact that he is treated like a child. The hypocrisy Holden possesses is extremely evident here; as he is a compulsive liar. His conceptions of the adult world, and all the “phoniness” that he perceives in nearly everyone he meets is very shallow. Alas, he fails to notice his own phoniness, as he is too busy judging others rather than judging himself. A recurring motif is obvious here, and that is his lying. His self-deception drives him, and he is unable to acknowledge his own...
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