• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What does Chapter One of The Catcher in the Rye tell us about the character Holden Caulfield?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What does Chapter One of The Catcher in the Rye tell us about the character Holden Caulfield? The main character in The Catcher in the Rye is a seemingly pessimistic sixteen year old named Holden Caulfield. Chapter One of this novel tells us of Holden's attitude and thoughts on various occasions and in a variety of situations. Holden is the narrator of the story. This enables readers to enter Holden's thoughts and see the world from his perspective. He is a very multifarious character. The first chapter presents the readers with background information on Holden. He has an older brother, D.B. who he expresses his views on his chosen lifestyle as "Now he's out in Hollywood...being a prostitute"; meaning Holden does not agree that D.B. ...read more.

Middle

This connotes that Holden sets his own rules, he will tell what he wishes to tell, and is fairly insubordinate to customary practices in various situations. One of these situations is when Holden decides, in his own rebellious manner not to attend the school football game, because everyone else is. "you were supposed to commit suicide if...Pencey didn't win". This quote suggests that Holden never does what he is "supposed" to do. This also emphasizes that Holden feels that following the customary narrative is inconsequential compared to his own viewpoint. Holden openly divulges that he will only do what he wishes to do, not what others tell him to do, and not because he is compelled to do so. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is shown when he tells a story about the fencing team, and how it was his fault that they were late in getting home. Although he does admit this, he covers up his embarrassment by saying "it was pretty funny, in a way". Holden also seems quite hypocritical. He criticizes people for being "phonies" and himself turns around and contemplates how much he wants to leave, right after he tells Mr. Spencer of his view on people's false personalities. Holden tends to be very biased when it comes to ideas and virtues. To shortly summarize Holden Caulfield, it would be said that he is a very critical and rebellious young adult. Although his individuality can be a good attribute, at times he does not realise when this is inappropriate. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level J.D. Salinger section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level J.D. Salinger essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss the view that in "Behind the Scenes at the Museum" and "Catcher in ...

    4 star(s)

    A key term used throughout "Catcher in the Rye" is 'phoniness' and Holden often talks about people being 'phoney'. However, these statements seem contradictory and therefore unreliable as although Holden hates phoniness he himself is always pretending to be something he's not.

  2. Peer reviewed

    'Holden's quest is an impossible one; it is a quest for the preservation of ...

    4 star(s)

    This is apparent during Holden's conversation with Carl Luce who, on dismissing his former girlfriend with the notion that she may now be the whore of the New Hampshire, elicits this reaction from Holden: "If she was decent enough to let you get sexy with her all the time, you at least shouldn't talk about her that way".

  1. a letter to holden caulfield

    when he'd find me asleep which used to really freak me out. You may not classify that as "sexual advances" but his freakish behavior made be apprehensive. Pretty much like how Mr. Antolini freaked you out that night. I must admit, now I realize, how much I hated the school as a whole actually.

  2. Theme in The Catcher in the Rye.

    His response makes sense, given what we already know about Holden: he prefers to retreat into his own imaginary view of the world rather than deal with the complexities of the world around him. He has a cynical, oversimplified view of other people, and a large part of his fantasy

  1. How does JD Salinger use the character of Holden Caulfield to explore the issues ...

    isolation from society, including his friends and family, portrayed throughout the story. Holden seems to look down on the football game, "you were supposed to commit suicide or something if Pency didn't win," as he does with society, "I couldn't stand somebody going to the movies"; this attitude constantly crops up in Holden's weekend.

  2. "The Catcher In The Rye" is a novel that has always attracted controversy.

    of stuff's happened me about twenty times since I was a kid." (3) This leads us to believe that Holden has suffered sexual abuse for some time; which is a very controversial issue. During the novel, Holden is attempting to cope with his transition from childhood to adulthood and he finds this very difficult.

  1. How does the reliability of the narrator, and they style they use, affect the ...

    Like Lockwood, Holden is also unable to understand his surroundings, another thing that highlights his unreliability. Holden is constantly misjudging people and situations. He is pesimisstic and feels that everybody is against him, although in reality they are not, and this is visible to the reader.

  2. The Catcher in the Rye - Consider and discuss 5 or 6 episodes in ...

    A possible reason for why Holden does this is that he is subconsciously trying to escape from his world, due to the fact that he feels that there is no good part of it, apart from perhaps his friends, and family.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work