catcher in the rye Essay

Submitted By stevescian
Words: 1614
Pages: 7

English 4
27 January 2014 Holden Caulfield is a very insecure, jealous teenager. Throughout The Catcher and the Rye Holden consistently shows us through insults that he is indeed, insecure. J.D Salinger institutes Holden’s insecurity by having Holden judge everything and everyone in the story which growing up I have been told people judge others because they are insecure about themselves. Holden is always calling someone a moron, or an ass, to make himself feel better. There is no doubt that Holden acts the way he does for no reason other than besides the fact that he is an insecure kid. Holden is in a school in which he does not have many friends so he picks apart the kids with friends to make himself feel normal and make it seems as if it is the others who are in the wrong. During his interactions with his roommates and his day to day life, you realize that Holden is so insecure and lacks self confidence majorly. Holden comes off very negative as the book begins, as the first line of the story references his so called lousy childhood, which to me immediately stood out as a kid with no confidence and someone who will be insecure. That was the string of a large amount of lines in which Holden was negative and or insulted someone else. Holden got into a fight with Stradlater who he continuously insults, about his date with Holden’s crush Jean Gallagher. After a brief scuffle Holden says “All morons hate it when you call them morons” (pg 44, Salinger). Holden says this to feel good about himself again after being beat up a bit by Stradlater. Holden always had said how he cannot stand Stradlater and does not know how he gets girls, which is the direct result of Holden being insecure about his appearance, and having no confidence. He is incredibly insecure about his own body because calls Stradlater fake and takes so long to get himself ready to go out. If he really did not like Stradlater he would not be worried about what he was doing, but he picks him apart because than Holden can feel better about himself. Holden insults people that he does not even know either, like the entertainers at Ernie’s. When the entertainers were finished with a song, naturally everyone began to clap, but Holden says “people always clap for the wrong things” (pg 77, Salinger). Holden says that because he is jealous that he cannot perform like the one performing the music and he is insecure about his talents, or lack thereof. Holden has no reason to cut apart the performers in fact, he should be grateful of these performers giving everyone at Ernie’s something to listen to. However, Holden is so insecure and jealous that he feels the need to cut apart someone who is doing nothing wrong. Holden is known for going on rants. His rants vary from complaining about how phony the school is, to the people he despises, and judging people who he does and does not know. Holden is on a downward spiral which are shown by his rants and rambling (Costranovo, David). This is a true statement, due to the fact that after every rant, Holden seems to get more and more against the world. Holden goes on more rants during the story such as when he says “mothers are all slightly insane” (pg 55, Salinger). While he seems to mean this in a positive way, he is always brining out some derogatory statement. He simply could have said that mothers are always there for their children and it is impressive. Instead I believe he uses the word insane to make himself feel like he does enough for other people and that mothers go overboard. He is insecure about the amount of work he puts into his life. I believe he calls the work they do insane, because he puts no effort into schoolwork so by him using the word insane, he feels as if he is more normal. It seems extreme to have Holden go this extreme to insult a group, but Holden has proved he will do anything to make himself feel better. Holden’s goal throughout the entire story is to feel better about himself however it does