Holden vs Igby

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Holden Caulfield | Igby | * Holden Caulfield, a 16 year old teenage boy is described as being skinny for his age, with grey hairs on one side of his head. * Throughout his personal journey, Holden expresses his various attitudes and values on a number of things like personal characteristics or judgemental opinions from a solitary and defensive perspective. These impressions define Holden as a character and give us an indirect commentary to other characters. * When Holden observes his surrounding commenting critically on people and society in general, it becomes obvious that Holden often contradicts his thoughts and opinions. Holden often filters his speech in order to please those around him, yet he thinks the complete opposite in his head e.g. when Holden is talking to Ernest’s mother on the train and lying about how he is one of the most “popular boys in school”, while in reality he believes he is doubtless “the biggest bastard”. * In particular he repeatedly explains how much he hates “phonies” such as his brother D.B. who sold out to Hollywood, D.B.s ex-girlfriend and even Stradlater, a shallow and “secret slob”. In saying this however, Holden is often recognised as a phony himself such as when he gives himself the identity of Rudolf Shmidt on the train or when he refuses sexual opportunities despite always thinking, questioning and desiring sex e.g. lying to Sunny the prostitute about having a “clavichord injury” to avoid having sex. He also contradicts himself by having a strong desire for innocence and an immature mind, yet undertakes adult activities e.g. drinking & smoking. * Through his personal insecurities and rough past (such Allie’s death, flunking a number of schools and losing valued relationships) Holden explores self hatred/disappointment and in turn presents a phony persona to hide his flaws. He even admits that he probably
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