a letter to holden caulfield

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                                         Catcher in the Rye

Dear Mr. Holden Caulfield,

                                          You broke the ice in my soul. I see the world differently after I read your diary. I was too much of a wimp before this but as the bible says “whereas until now I was blind, but now I see”.  I consider myself kind of lucky to have found the personal diary of a high school student, a year back, just before I was to get admitted into one. I really was quite a wimp before this and perceived myself to be in the company of dominating buddies, who’d hang in popular circles, whom I’d have to devote my honest friendship to, just so that I could earn my share of popularity. But your diary altered my wimpy perception and served to be a good sign of the rather depressing life that was coming my way. I can relate quite a lot to your high school experiences and must admit I find it comfortable thinking the “Holden Caulifield” way. We seem to have already shared a similar pre high school life considering my mom died when I was five.

By the way, let me introduce myself, I’m just another high school “phony”, as you may find me. I too have a little sister, whom I share my problems with. Speaking of problems, I think we share some common ones like dropping out of school, only once in my case though, and issues with parents, but for different reasons. A notable difference though is that I am much better than you at academics, especially math. I too indulge in smoking and drinking which I believe aren’t habits that should be indulged in only after I mature into an adult, like many perceive them to be, instead I believe, I treat myself to a cigarette only because it makes me feel good and age is not a criteria for that. I’m pretty confident you’d agree with me. Besides in my country no one cares to follow the law and question my age in a bar.

I’d really like to tell you about my parents. My Dad is the goddamn sole proprietor of a good manufacturing business and is probably richer than yours. In fact he is so rich that he forbids me to use his cars and compels me to travel by public transport instead, because he wants me to bear the hardships of life. The reason behind this is that he believes everybody who has made it big today, has been through a lot of hardships in life which he thinks molded them into what they are. In fact convinced me about the validity of his theory when I was a kid, but now I realize what a moron I was to believe him. I think I had suppressed my ability to analyze the rationality of his views at that point of time. But thanks to you, now I have come about to alter the way I think. Recently, after a lot of thinking, I’ve realized that this approach of his is a conventional method of preventing me from being a spoilt kid, like most of the others at school. I wonder what makes him think I’m a typical teen who’d get into the wrong company and all the damn bad habits if I’d be provided with all the luxuries of life. Heck, I’m different. All these years I have suppresses my desire to keep up my dignity among the all the phonies at school, by getting off his Mercedes that he barely uses. I couldn’t even build up the courage to demand for one of his chauffer driven cars which I would like to call my “necessity”. He keeps crapping about being down to earth and doesn’t realize I always turn a deaf here to those conversations. I believe, “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”. Anyway, this is only an example of the many ways he’d deprived me. What a Phony! Today, unlike when I was a kid, I wouldn’t agree with the fact that he tries to be an ideal dad. Besides I haven’t yet told him that I smoke and booze. You’d agree with me that at our age we must be self dependent and lead life independently without one dictating what you should do. Why the hell do parents have to have any form of control or influence in your life? Why cant they just let us grow devoid of their mature influence rather than emphasizing all the time on moral values? Not only parents are that way, many a times you come across people like old Spencer in your case. I cant blame my mom though because she’s dead now. Though, she used to narrate bedtime stories based on ethical values, and I believe, would continue her efforts, rather differently, if she was alive. Had I not read your book I’d probably be a wimpy mama’s boy today if she’d live on. I won’t write much about her because it depresses the hell out of me.

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 I owe the fact that I used to be a wimp, to the depression I underwent accepting the fact that she was no more at that tender age. Much like how you must have felt when Allie died. It sure is depressing when a family member passes away and you have no one to confess your problems to.

Anyway I must admit dad was pretty cooperative when I insisted on changing my school a month back because I couldn’t adjust with the kind of phonies it had. He did find my reasons too phony but he helped me anyway. Wherever ...

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