How Much Do You Find You Sympathise

With The Character Of Holden? Essay, Research Paper

Holden Caulfield is a very strange yet unique character. I think that everybody has a certain aspect of Holden inside of them. Holden is the very quiet, loner, calm type. Not many people are like this but most have some of these factors hidden deep inside them. Some people need to be calm sometimes, some need to be alone. This is a point which makes Holden a character that is easily relatable to. Holden’s personality is not exactly the model one however. On the contrary, Holden is what one does not want to become like. I think this because the feelings he feels in ‘Catcher in the Rye’ are feelings or situations that many of us have felt or been in and they are not pleasurable. Holden is an outsider, maybe even a person with a mental problem. Or so he appears from the outside. We the readers have had the benefit of actually being in Holden’s shoes while reading this book. This benefit causes us to know Holden more than some of his best friends do. We know how he thinks and how he thinks is extremely different from how he acts behind the mask he wears. Everything he does is almost to a certain extent the opposite of what he thinks. Holden tries to act tough but he has a huge heart. I sympathise with this very deeply as some feelings he feels about people are feelings that I’m sure we all have felt. The feeling of feeling sorry for someone. Take Ackley. Ackley is just about the ugliest, dirtiest, most annoying person in the world to Holden yet Holden still takes him to a movie. He takes him to a movie out of the kindness of his heart because he feels sorry for Ackley sitting in his room all alone. This is an experience which I have felt, I have felt sorry for people quite often and this makes Holden a person which I can understand. Some people may not but I do. Holden doesn’t trust anybody. He only confides himself to one person, his sister, Phoebe. Phoebe seems to be his best friend. In fact, Holden seems to be deeply attached to his brothers and sister yet he seems detached from his father and mother. Much of what he does has something to do with his dead brother, Allie. This makes Holden a very lifelike character as well because many people have close ties with their family. Other than family, most people are phonies to him, it seems very difficult to become his friend and he doesn’t seem to get on closely with his girlfriends. It is hard to become his friend because he is a born critic. When he meets someone, he immediately has to comment on their bad points. This is an aspect of him that I find it harder to relate to. Most of us try to enjoy life but Holden seems to hate it. He is like a gun, just waiting for the trigger to be pulled. He even goes to pick fights sometimes. He doesn’t seem to care what happens to him. He gets expelled but he doesn’t care. Holden thinks he is independent but he is not. This is an experience which many people my age know as being teenagers we think that we are independent but we are not. Holden thinks he can just survive on his own but that is a dream he doesn’t realise isn’t possible in his state in the book. Holden shuts out anybody that tries to help him and thus loses a lot of the chances to become someone important in life. He has enormous potential yet being the paranoid, does not use it. Holden worries to much about the outcome of things. Worrying to little is bad but worrying too much eliminates many of the things that he could have done. Worrying too much means that he didn’t dare enough to make anything of the years at Pencey and all of his other schools. Holden is a dreamer, yet his dreams are to far fetched to have any consequence on his life. He expects too survive in the wild by building a log cabin and getting a job, if he tried. Yet we the readers and his date know that that is a complete impossibility. Dreamers don’t get very far in life, not unless they actually have the will power to achieve them and Holden doesn’t seem to have it. He is a lazy guy, even for a 17 year old. He seems to try to avoid work unless he likes it. Unfortunately, I can relate to that as well as I usually do not like to do work. Then again, most people do that. Holden has remained a very psychological character throughout the book and doesn’t seem to want to reveal his inner self to anyone. I find that a person must reveal his or her inner self by talking to someone or else he/she will remain cooped up and unhappy. This is what Holden is. I imagine that many psychologists have read this book and have learned a great deal. It is a book on life. No one gets murdered, there are no satellites, it is not an exciting book. It is merely the life of a person. And that’s the beauty of it.


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