Masks in The Catcher in the Rye

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Masks in The Catcher in the Rye

What happen if everyone in the world is wearing a mask? That is

exactly what this world is; everyone wears a mask. Most people we see

every day have their true identity hidden behind a facade. Although a

true identity cannot be divulge just by looking, but with a careful

scrutiny of one's character will reveal to what is behind the facade.

Equivalent to what happened in J.D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye.

Holden Caulfield, a typical teenager in the 50's with a morally

loose, rude and obscene personality. However, his rudeness is just a mask

that he uses to cover his decent, sympathetic, and mature character inside.

Throughout the entire story, Holden uses unchaste language to offense

himself. The use of these words may insult the reader, but the truth is,

he is building a facade so that he can obtain the approval he feels they

have oppose him thus far. As a teenager, the critical period of his life,

Holden struggled to find the meaning of life, and his survival, they

easily depressed Holden demands their company, even though he calls them

"phonies." Holden is really a decent and mature teenager, but he only

hides behind the false front to obtain the approval. In the meantime, he

tries to find the meaning of his existence. There's Holden's false front,

a rude and without standard teen, but what's behind it are important. A

decent, sympathetic and mature teen lies behind the mask. The only time

he reveals these distinctions is when he comes to some poin...

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self, his reality. He also delighted by his younger brother, Allie. He

stated that Allie is a nice boy. Allie loved to write poems, so he wrote

poetry all over his own baseball mitt. Holden kept Allie's baseball mitt

after Allie died of leukemia. When his brother died, Holden was so upset

that he broke all the windows in the garage with his fists. Subsequently,

Holden wanted to be the "Catcher in the Rye," but he now realized that he

cannot "catch (or safe) all the children that started to go over the


Thus, Holden's mask is just a false front, a facade. But what's

behind it is the most important. He uses the language to find the meaning

of life, his existence. The true Holden shows his decent heart, sympathy

and maturity.
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