Holden Caulfield Essay

It seems that Holden shapes the story to whatever suits him best. Throughout the novel, Holden comes across as particularly judgmental. He criticises those who are boring, unconfident and above all, ‘phony. He sees almost everybody around him as insincere and superficial, especially adults. Ossenburger in the first ‘phony’ that Holden goes into detail about. He criticises Ossenburger for throwing his money around and only caring about his image. In almost every case, Holden makes simple categorical judgments nstead of more complex ones.

Holden’s kindness is definitely a characteristic that shines through. Throughout the novel, Holden is extending an arm to those who need it, but often not getting one in return. We see Holden’s kindheartedness when he writes Stradlater’s composition for him, for nothing but a knock to the teeth in return. Holden also goes out of his way in New York City to find a tape that he thinks his sister, Phoebe might enjoy. Holden is frightened by the idea of change. He takes great interest in the useum for its exhibits.

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For Holden, these exhibits are a symbol of constancy. They do not change with time and Holden admires them for this. Holden is very critical of the post World War II society and has trouble conforming to it. He has no desire to go to university, get a well-paid job and eventually settle down to have a family, as society expects him to. At one point in the novel, he asks Sally Hayes to run away with him, to escape from societys expectations. Above all, Holden is lonely. This is mainly a result of his extremely high tandards.

Upon his arrival in New York, Holden stands in a phone booth, eliminating his options one by one, until he decides to call nobody. He seems to be lonely because he dissociates himself from ‘phonies’, which seems to be almost everybody.