Holden Caulfield Quotes

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In J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield is seen by some critics a a drop out student destined for failure in life, but I see him as a symbol of an adolescent who struggles to adapt to the reality of adulthood. In Holden’s ordinary world, problems in many aspects of his life are filled with demoralizing dilemmas that portray him as a failure in life. One of the first piece of background information he provides to readers is about how unworthy his older brother is by saying “Now he’s out in Hollywood, D.B., being a prostitute” (Salinger, 4). D.B. is living a successful life by making a large amount of money, but Holden fails to see in the point of view of adults because cognitive development in children often results in a self-involved/egocentric…show more content…
Next, he mentions his mistake of leaving fencing equipment on the subway that prevented the fencing team from competing in an away match at McBurney School and forced them to return to school early. This prompted the whole team to “ostracize” him the whole way back, but his response was “it was pretty funny, in a way” (Salinger, 6). The act of carelessness Holden possesses, shows the lack of dedication in the jobs he is provided with. In addition, he states that he “forgot to tell” that he was kicked out of Pencey Prep due to flunking four out of five subjects (Salinger, 6). Another act of ignorance is shown, and he fails to see the importance of his academics and athletic duties. This is similar to the author, J.D. Salinger, who attended McBurney School, but did not excel in school, and the main character, Huckleberry Finn from the novel, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn because Huckleberry does not like…show more content…
First, he goes to Mr. Spencer, his history teacher, who provides advice for his life and his future and even says “I’m trying to help you, if I can” (Salinger, 18). Because Mr. Spencer gives realistic advice to Holden to prepare him for his future even though it is not obligated, Mr. Spencer can be considered a mentor for Holden. Before Holden packs and leaves, he says “I was sort of crying” and “then I yelled at the top of my goddam voice, ‘Sleep tight, ya morons!’” (Salinger, 59). Although he becomes emotional when he realizes the company he is going to miss by leaving Pencey, he still acts immaturely as a result of an adolescent pitfall called invulnerability, when adolescents makes decisions without proper regard for their consequences (Adolescent Pitfalls). Holden finally leaves to take a train and reveals his love for riding trains at night (Salinger, 60). He is setting out on an adult journey by leaving Pencey, but he is still grasping to child interests by usually becoming excited to ride trains. Concluding sentence
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