Holden Caulfield is the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, and the novel is a largely autobiographical account of his life. Holden’s character traits include being highly judgmental, deeply cynical, and extremely angry. He is also incredibly intelligent and articulate. Holden is a teenager who is struggling to find his place in the world. He has been kicked out of several schools and is currently living with his aunt and uncle. Holden’s parents are deceased, and he feels isolated from the rest of the world.
Holden’s journey in the novel is one of self-discovery, and he slowly begins to develop as a person. By the end of the book, Holden has learned to accept himself for who he is, and he begins to see the world in a more positive light. Holden’s character development is one of the most important aspects of the novel, and it is one of the things that makes The Catcher in the Rye so memorable and special.
Holden is a 16-year-old boy that has been kicked out of boarding school and is now on his own in New York City. Holden’s character can be seen to develop over the course of the novel as he experiences different things and meets new people. Holden starts out the novel as a very Phoneix-like figure, closed off from the world and refusing to let anyone in. However, as Holden goes through his journey he gradually begins to open up, eventually letting down his walls and revealing his true self to the reader.
One of Holden’s main character traits is his refusal to accept adult society. He is constantly critical of the hypocrisy and phoniness that he sees around him. Holden feels that adults are not to be trusted and that they are all “phonies”. Holden’s distaste for adult society is perhaps best summed up by his famous quote “All grown-ups are phonies”.
This quote demonstrates Holden’s lack of faith in adults as he believes that they are all two-faced. Another one of Holden’s key character traits is his childlike innocence. In spite of all the bad things that Holden has experienced in his life, he still retains a sense of innocence. This can be seen in the way Holden talks about sex, for example when he says “I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.
Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day.
I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.” Holden views himself as being responsible for the safety of children, wanting to protect their innocence. He sees it as his duty to “catch” them before they fall off the “cliff”, or before they lose their innocence and become corrupt like the adults Holden so despises.
Holden’s character develops throughout the novel as he slowly begins to accept adult society. This is most clearly seen in Holden’s interactions with Mr. Antolini, his former teacher. When Holden first meets Mr. Antolini, he is immediately on the defensive, assuming that Mr. Antolini is just like all the other adults Holden knows. However, over the course of their conversation Holden begins to see that Mr. Antolini is different from other adults.
Mr. Antolini actually takes the time to listen to Holden and try to understand him. He also gives Holden some good advice, telling him “You’re riding for some pretty rough country. I don’t think you realize that. The first thing you’ll need to do is develop some kind of a background. You can’t go around without any kind of an identity. People will think you’re a spy or something. They’ll get suspicious of you.
You ought to have some kind of occupation, so people will know what you do and all. It keeps things more orderly that way… I mean it keeps things from getting out of hand, if you want my opinion. You got to have background in this world, Holden – otherwise, you ain’t got nothing at all behind you. No culture, no race, no religion. You could end up being anybody at all, Holden. Any damn body at all.”
Holden is initially resistant to Mr. Antolini’s advice, but he eventually comes to see the wisdom in it. This is a turning point for Holden as he finally begins to accept that he needs to grow up and take responsibility for his own life. Holden’s character continues to develop over the course of the novel as he slowly starts to mature and come into his own.
By the end of the book, Holden has finally realized that he can’t keep running from his problems forever. He needs to face up to them and deal with them head-on. This newfound maturity is best demonstrated by Holden’s decision to return home to New York, even though he knows his family will be disappointed in him. Holden has finally come to accept adult society and his place in it.
After being kicked out of his fourth school, Pencey Prep, Holden embarks on a personal discovery journey through New York in the book. He becomes more unstable in a world where he feels he does not fit in with people he considers “fakes”.
In contrast to the conventional workaholic, Holden is also on a personal mission to figure himself out, though he resorts to ignoring his issues as a solution. Holden’s tale is told from the perspective of a mental institution, where he was incarcerated for recuperating from a neurotic episode caused by his dramatic and often very far-out actions.
Holden’s character is one that is Holden’s character is one that is multi-dimensional, and as he develops throughout the novel, so does the reader’s understanding of him.
Holden Caulfield is a teenager who is having trouble finding his place in the world. Throughout the novel, Holden goes through many changes and it is these changes that help to develop his character. When Holden first arrives in New York, he is full of hope and excitement. He is eager to start exploring the city and meet new people.
However, Holden soon realizes that the city is not what he thought it would be. He becomes increasingly disillusioned with the people around him, whom he deems to be “phonies”. Holden’s dislike for these people leads him to isolate himself from them, which in turn causes him to feel even more alone. Holden’s alienation from the world around him is one of the main factors that contribute to his breakdown.
As Holden continues to wander the streets of New York, he becomes increasingly lost both physically and emotionally. He feels that he does not belong anywhere and this sense of isolation only heightens his feelings of loneliness and despair. Holden’s desperation reaches a breaking point when he attempts to commit suicide. Thankfully, Holden is unsuccessful in his attempt and this ultimately saves his life. This experience is a turning point for Holden and it is through this that he begins to understand the value of life.
After his suicide attempt, Holden is sent to a psychiatric hospital where he spends time reflecting on his life. It is here that Holden comes to the realization that he has been running away from his problems instead of facing them head on. Holden also realizes that he has been trying to find himself in all the wrong places.
He has been looking for answers in the wrong places and this has only led him to more confusion and pain. Holden’s time in the hospital allows him to step back and take a look at his life from a different perspective. This new perspective helps Holden to see things in a different light and it is through this that he is finally able to start putting his life back together.