Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Journal 1


At the very beginning I was informed that there would be a part of all of us in Holden Caulfied, the main character. I can see that, now, how he's just an average human being with concerns and insecurities. Like all of us, he wants to fit in with someone or a group. Nobody wants to be left out or not included, because if they are, it leaves them feeling unloved and it lowers a sense of self-worth. Holden didn't fit in with Stradlater because Stradlater was popular, he was a jock, and he knew people liked him. Holden ends up writing an essay for Stradlater even thought he didn't want to. He did because he wanted Stradlater to like him and in doing so, he accomplished the task incorrectly.

That night, Holden leaves Pencey because he was kicked out. He left earlier than he was supposed to, and while he was leaving he was crying. This shows that Holden has feelings and raw emotions like most people, and it showed that he actually cared about leaving. I'm sure he wanted to get out of there, but he felt remorseful for leaving. He even felt sorry for the teachers who had to flunk him. He left early when everyone was sleeping because he didn't want people to know he cared. He was supposed to be this strong macho person, and here he is crying. He couldn't bring himself to say good-bye to the people he had grown close to; he was afraid of what might happen.

Holden is very hypocritical in the sense that he thinks everyone else is a phony, but he is very phony himself. He lies all the time, and he does one thing but means another. One of my questions was what is going to happen to Holden later on in the book. And our group predicted that he is going to realize what a phony he is, and he is going to have some sort of a breakdown. Right now he doesn't think he's like everyone else because he does things his own way. One day he's going to realize that he's fallen into society's trap, that he's a typical person that does what a lot of other people do. He's not going to like the realization. He's going to see that he is phony to cover up his won insecurities and his own concerns.

Holden at the hotel hires this prostitute, but later on he doesn't even sleep with her. He was insecure because he had never slept with anyone before. He was afraid that she would know and think he's just this little kid. He's afraid of so many things that he's not sure about. He was even afraid to go and say hello to Jane even he wanted to so badly. He was this obsession with her, because she is one of the only people who like him for who he is. I think she sees the self-conscious side of him, but she still likes him, so that's why he's so attached to her. He can be himself around her, and he's not afraid of that. There needs to be more people like that in his life not just Jane, D.B., Allie, or Phoebe. He needs to know that he's loved and cared about, and I believe that will do a lot to relieve all lot of his insecurities.

The Catcher in the Rye 2

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