Catcher In The Rye Holden Caufield


Catcher In The Rye: Holden Caufield Essay, Research Paper

Catcher In The Rye: Holden Caufield

Holden Caufield was a high school student at a boy’s academy by the name

of Pency Prep. He feels as though he had fought the world and lost, everyone is

against him and that little can bring him joy. He had lost his innocence, and

saw himself as a “catcher in the rye”, trying to save children from his fate.

Holden is quite the eccentric individual. I say this because of the

incident with Sally Hayes where he proclaims his love for her and how they

should run off together. The reason this makes him an eccentric is, he hates

her and in his own words “Sally you’re a pain in the ___!” Holden Caufield has

many bad qualities including one of his favorite pastimes getting rip-roaring

drunk. A good example of this is one of the many bar scenes when he gets quite

drunk and asks the waiter to complement the singer. This is a show of his

drunkenness because the singer is awful or at least the thought so before he

started drinking. This is one among a plethora of bad habits like smoking,

cursing, and being extremely cynical (everyone is a phony). Holden is by far

not all bad, inside he is moral and generous. There are very clear examples of

these good qualities. He had some moral sense because when “bought” the

prostitute Sunny for a throw he could not go threw with it, so he paid her

anyway and sent her away from him. Holden was charitable when he gave a

considerably large donation of twenty dollars to the two nuns. This action was

nothing other than an act of pure kindness.

Holden Caufield has a foil or an opposite in the story, The Catcher in

the Rye. This person is his younger sister, Phoebe. She has a positive outlook

on life, while Holden hated it and thought he was doomed. She was his “ray of

hope” in life and she was the only thing that brought them true joy. Phoebe was

also the only person Holden knew who was not a phony about life and being happy

(Sally Hayes).

Holden Caufeild seems to change and evolve throughout the book. In the

beginning, he is said to be very irresponsible for reasons like forgetting the

foils for fencing at the subway or for getting kicked out of school. Later, he

Holden seems to become nicer, by giving twenty dollars to the nuns. He also

develops the ides of being a catcher in the rye, protecting children from the

outside world, and from losing their innocence.

I enjoyed this book greatly and I find that Holden Caufield’s life story

is not that far fetched. Holden is seen by most as just another flunkie, but he

is much more than that and I hope my paper has proved this fact. This book has

stirred much controversy in its time (as many good books do), but I believe it

is just true to life showing the workings of a single teenagers mind.

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