Contradiction and Holden’s Character Essay

Submitted By frig67uii
Words: 705
Pages: 3

With close reference to pages 183-zvxczv186 analyse Salinger’s use of langzxvzxvzcvuage and structure, exploring Holden’s contradictory view of the word

Holden is an adolescent struggling against the unfair, sometimes cruel nature of the adult world and sees the zvxxcvzxvzvand attempts to flee it. Salinger uses Holden’s character to express his views on the 1950’s America angdsgsdgsdggsdgggsdgzzcvzxvd gives us as readers an insight through the first person narrative to the average American boy’s life.

Throughout the novel we are able to identify that Holden holds many critical views on the society around him which results in his inability to connect to it. He expresses this insecurity by criticising the flaws that he finds, for example, the unfair class system.

At the beginning of the extract when Holden is talking to the two children, he tells them “you should” learn about how Egyptians bury the dead, yet this is a clear contradiction to what Holden himself is like as he doesn’t care about his own education, yet is advising others. Here I believe that Holden is being what he calls ‘phony’ and in this circumstance phony refers to the false pretences and the way he acts like someone he isn’t.

However, though Holden uses the word ‘phony’ repeatedly throughout the novel, it doesn’t always mean the same thing. It’s what he uses for describing the superficiality, hypocrisy, pretension, and shallowness that he encounters in the world around him and it stands as an emblem of everything that’s wrong in the world around him and provides an excuse for him to withdraw into his cynical isolation.

In the novel, Holden also likes to make out that he doesn’t need anyone, this is because he’s so cut off from society and the people around him and he pushes everyone away, yet this is quite contradictory to how he acted when one of the little boys was holding on to him as he says “...practically was holding onto my sleeve”. This can be because he’s seeing himself and his brother Allie, in the two little boys now, which can be why he talked to them in the first place.

Further along in the extract, Holden says “I was the only one in the tomb then. I sort of liked it, in a way.” And looking at the structure of these sentences we can see that they are short and concise, yet we see that following one slightly positive comment, Holden has to have a little rant and bring some negativity into his speech and feels the need to criticise something.

After describing the museum and his surroundings as “nice and peaceful” which is quite strange in itself as he doesn’t usually feel like he fits in anywhere which can be due to his inability to