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

Holden Caufield Character Analysis

Extracts from this document...


Actions Although Holden is a very bright and intelligent young adult, he hides behind a facade of bitterness. One of the most famous quotes in the book describes this well. [Ackley] took another look at my hat . . . "Up home we wear a hat like that to shoot deer in, for Chrissake," he said. "That's a deer shooting hat." "Like hell it is." I took it off and looked at it. I sort of closed one eye, like I was taking aim at it. "This is a people shooting hat," I said. "I shoot people in this hat." There is a lot of meaning behind this quote. It is very clear from the beginning that Holden uses the hat as a sign of being an individual and unique person. He feels very alienated and separate from the rest of the world, and has a certain indignation towards the rest of the world. Because of this, Holden does not literally shoot people, but instead he does it figuratively. He uses his energy into insulting and putting down others, or 'shooting people down'. Holden is also a very big hypocrite. He often says that other characters are phony. For example, when he talks about his principal at Elkton Hills. For instance, they had this headmaster, Mr. Haas, that was the phoniest bastard I ever met in my life. ...He'd be charming as hell and all. Except if some boy had little old funny-looking parents. ...read more.


I couldn't stand it. Since Holden is actually an intelligent and mature boy, he finds that the world is much more complex than many understand. The world is not just black and white, but instead in shades of gray. He has many strong opinions on the world, yet he is sometimes afraid to express it. He builds an armor around himself - a pessimistic, cynical view of the world - so as to protect himself from the rest of the world. He is a very complex, deep character that has many layers. Thought It can be seen that Holden doesn't enjoy reality. To escape reality, he constantly tries to avoid it, such as planning escapes with Sally. We'll stay in these cabin camps and stuff like that till the dough runs out. Then, when the dough runs out, I could get a job somewhere and we could live somewhere with a brook and all and, later on, we could get married or something. I could chop all our own wood in the wintertime and all. There was also another 'escape' that he planned, of pretending he was a deaf-mute and moving to some place where nobody knew him. I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. ...We could buy them a lot of books and teach them how to read and write by ourselves. Holden constantly resists entering the 'adult world', but doesn't have much choice as it is a natural thing to grow older. ...read more.


But if you get on the other side, where there aren't any hot-shots, then what's a game about it? Nothing. No game. This quote tells us a lot about Holden's character. From this we can see that although he is nodding on the outside, he is outright disagreeing in the inside. This not only makes him a phony, but shows Holden's dislike of adults and the adult world. It is clear that Holden feels he is not part of the side that is winning. Instead, he feels that he is being victimized and that the world has turned its back against him. . . . I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff-I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. As we can tell already, Holden enjoys escaping reality, and instead slipping into fantasy. He has a view that children are all innocent and pure, while adults are hypocrites. Holden himself knows that that idea is crazy, however, he has trouble seeing the world in any other way. Holden's fantasy consists of a world of innocence and purity. He longs to protect this innocence, purity and unharmed youth and shield it from the harshness of reality. Holden's view of the world is distorted and naive, and shows just how detached he feels from the world. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages 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 International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Things Fall Apart Novel Analysis

    Art- Art represents femininity. Okonkwo could not stand any type of art; to him, it is for women. He hates his dad because he was musical; he wishes also his son was more masculine when Nwoye tells folktales or legends.

  2. My Brother Detailed Scene Analysis

    or as the man who believed he was getting better and was having sex with women, and maybe men. She wonders which type of person her brother had enjoyed being the most. Another man, also an AIDS victim, is being buried at the same time, in the same cemetery, but the two families do not speak to each other.

  1. Commentary on Raschida el-Charni's Life on the Edge

    This is the narrator's defining moment in the story, it is her opportunity to either take control of the situation and reinforce el-Charni's beliefs regarding the capabilities of women, or to shy away from the responsibility. Ammar and al-Amin respond to their mother's labour in a way that would be expected of a woman in a patriarchy.

  2. CD for Holden

    It seems like you have been alienating yourself for a long time now, it feels like forever. The next song on your CD is "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton. I just had to add this one. I know that you are really sensitive about your brother's death and all, and you don't like talking about it.

  1. Comparative Seminar Analysis- Women of Sand and Myrrh and Rasie the Red Lantern

    What kind of man? Do I have much of a choice? You only care about money, why don't I marry a rich man? You'll only be a good concubine if you marry a rich man Then I'll marry a rich man. What else can be offered to women?"

  2. Fasting Feasting Extract Close Analysis: Chapter Twenty Six: Pages 220-224

    'He would prefer here to be no one to witness him gingerly confronting the water' which exemplifies his nervousness in nature and how he is afraid of to 'plunge in amidst the waterweeds'. Using diction such as 'confronting' to portray Arun in facing her symbol of America is trying to

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