Holden's Insecurities: The Catcher in the Rye Essay

Submitted By Aaronwald
Words: 619
Pages: 3

Ms. Spiegel
English IIH

The Catcher in the Rye In the Catcher and the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Holden Caulfield begins the book in the same proximity of where he ends the book. Holden being a phony individual never takes into account other people’s ideas and because of his stubbornness, never learns his lesson. In the Catcher and the Rye, Holden clearly is the phony in the form of criticism loneliness, and fallacies. Through out the novel Holden tells lies like it’s his job. At the beginning of chapter 3 Holden even states, “I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life” (Salinger p.16). He knows that it is awful but he being insecure thinks that he needs to lie to impress the world and to make him seem like he is perfect. For example, when Holden goes to visit Mr. Spencer, his history teacher that flunked him, he refuses to listen to the advice Mr. Spencer has to give to him. He thinking whatever he does is right, doesn’t want to be lectured and tells Mr. Spencer that “I have to go right to the gym” to get out of hearing how stubborn and phony he himself is (Salinger p.15). Holden knows that Mr. Spencer is trying to help him but doesn’t care to take his advice into consideration because he thinks it’s phony when adults lecture you. An example of Holden being an imposter comes when he is on the train with Mrs. Morrow. He thinks that if “You take somebody’s mother, all they want to hear about is what a hot-shot their son is” (Salinger p.56). Holden held to fast to this idea; tries to flirt with Mrs. Morrow telling her how everyone loves her son even know Holden hates him because she is an attractive woman. He also tells her that his name is someone else’s and that he is going to home to have surgery. Holden tells all of these lies to increase the chance of having a sexual encounter with Mrs. Morrow because sex is all he desires. Holden’s insecurity about himself is why he criticizes others. He thinks that if he downgrades other people then he can feel better about himself.Right before Holden leaves for New York he yells “Sleep tight, ya morons!” to his roommates (Salinger p.52). Holden thinks that he is right for leaving Pencey after failing 4 out of his five classes and that everyone there are