Character Analysis of Holden in 'Catcher in the Rye' by J.D. Salinger

Published: 2022-03-11
Character Analysis of Holden in 'Catcher in the Rye' by J.D. Salinger
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Character analysis American literature The Catcher in the Rye
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 626 words
6 min read

Holden Caulfield is a narrator who is seventeen years of age and also the novel's protagonist who communicates to the reader in a direct manner while in a mental hospital or sanitarium situated in California. The novel represents a frame story that is presented in the form of a prolonged flashback. Holden seeks to narrate what took place for past two days in the last December that covered that afternoon of Saturday of the ancient seasonal conclusion of the football activities in his school, Pencey Prep, and Saxon Hall. As the story starts, Holden is just sixteen years with a height of six feet and two and a half inches. He somehow has a grey hair and a body that is very skinny. In fact, he has managed to grow at a height of six and a half inches within a period of one year. He seems not in the desired shape due to smoking that he takes a lot. The general health of Holden is poor. He seems to be suffering from depression, confusion, ever angry, resented, horny, thoughtful, perceptive, kind and bigoted. In simple terms, Holden is struggling with life.

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According to Holden, Pency and related prep schools that he has managed attend forms part of the manmade and appears despicable concerning any type of institution under the management of adults. The schools are dominated by lies and aspects of cruelty that include the range of no harmful Pencey's motto and the brutally compelled suicide committed James Castle while at Elkton Hills.

Holden submits to the world occupied by the adults and accepts the passage leading to it, though he has minimal options. The society and its members are advising him that time is ripe for him to change. He gets drawn to the adulthood trappings such as booze, sex idea, cigarettes and the independence levels; however, he expresses despise to compromises, unavailability of integrity, the absence of innocence and authenticity within the developed world. He appears to be good at passage rights that are manmade so long as not leading to self-destruction. Irrespective of the experience that is limited, the attitude of Holden towards women is often mature and also admirable as well. He disengages himself from sexual acts the moment a lady rejects him. He faces troubles of intimacy unless he is aware of girl properly and admires her so much. Through his confusion, he imagines of seeing his behavior as a main weakness that necessitates for admission of the aspect of psychotherapy. The interactions from him with Sunny who is a prostitute seems comical and also touching due to the fact that they are adolescents seeking to adults. Despite Sunny appearing much frightening among the two, there is none that is part of the scene.

Holden is close to crashing. Just in the beginning and also the final stages of the novel, he has a feeling that will end up disappearing or find him into an abyss if he proceeds to step off a curb while seeking to cross a street. At some juncture, when this takes place, he seeks his dead brother by the name Allie for assistance. What contributes towards his fall is his incapability of coming up into reality with death. The belief of Allie resting in the grave, cemetery, and train and enclosed with dead bodies as well as the tombstones keep haunting Holden. He seeks time for stopping himself from this. He imagines of good moments lasting forever through use of the displays inside the glass found at Museum covering on Natural History where similar people are depicted of engaging in the same things every year.

Work Cited

Salinger, J. D. "The Catcher in the Rye: novel. transl. from English by R." Right-Kovaleva. M.: Eksmo (2009).

Cite this page

Character Analysis of Holden in 'Catcher in the Rye' by J.D. Salinger. (2022, Mar 11). Retrieved from

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