The Catcher In The Rye

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Assignment 1 From studying the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger I discovered that Holden Caulfield, the main character in the novel is merely a confused adolescent filled with bitterness and resentment. His attitude towards others around him holds him back in life. He is a self-confessed compulsive liar and makes quick decisions without realising the consequences of his actions. The novel is narrated by him in the most colloquial of styles and it is obvious that his view on things could be an exaggerated truth in reality. In the novel Holden jumps to the conclusion that he was betrayed by an old teacher Mr. Antolini but taking into account his opinions and actions in the novel I feel that he was incorrect in forming that view for several reasons. Holden would rather drop out of school than associate himself with “phonies” like his room mate Ward Stradlater or fellow classmate Ernest Morrow. He views life in a most pessimistic manner claiming that it is only worthwhile if you know the right people. “If you get on the same side where all the hot-shots are, then it’s a game, all right – I’ll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there are no hot-shots, then what’s a game about it? Nothing. No game.” Holden says this when his ex-headmaster, Dr. Thurmer speaks to him using a game a symbol for life and how to tries to give him tips on how to survive in the world today. It’s obvious that the headmaster is worried about his future and what will become of him if he continues to brood in a pool of acrimony. Holden reacts in an immature manner and does not take any criticism constructively in the novel. It seems he is sceptical towards those that try and help him. This is definitely the case when it comes to the incident with Mr. Antolini. Holden can not understand why people would want to help others and the reason for this is
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