4 January 2015
Self-Destruction “There are seeds of self-destruction in all of us that will bear only unhappiness if allowed to grow.” by Dorothea Brande, Self-destruction is usually defined as “voluntary destruction” which means that humans decide to auto harm themselves, physically and emotionally. They live in a cycle of repetition where they refuse to accept reality and live in their imaginary world. In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, written by J. D. Salinger, the protagonist exemplifies the quote, “People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction.” by James Baldwin. The protagonist goes through all of these stages during the novel: he isolates himself, refuses to accept reality, and has an initiation of madness. However, if humans have the courage to fight with themselves, they will create a new path and new vision of life. Throughout the novel, Holden seems to be excluded and isolated from the world around him. For example, at the beginning of the novel when he is at Pencey Prep, Holden does not have any friends or connections with anybody because he thinks that everyone is a “phony”. During the whole novel he emphasises and repeats this word a lot of times. “Phonie” is a person who is a hypocrite, who does or says something opposite, or that contradicts what they have previously said. Holden hates people because he finds something wrong with them. Holden is disconnected from family, friends and especially high school. As the audience know, he has been kicked out of many schools for not applying himself. Holden is not a stupid , in fact he could be a great student but he does not want to . The main reason why he does not want to put any effort in school is because he is trying to find something that motivates him. In fact, he fails the courses on purpose because he wants to stay in high school for ever and avoid life of College, University and real life. Another example is when Holden is going to NYC by train and he meets the mother of one of his old classmates. Mrs. Morrow and Holden begin to talk and then he jokes that his son is an outstanding person and he is the most popular student in school, but in reality Holden cannot stand being with him for five minutes. Holden invites her for a drink but she denies him which makes Holden really depressed. Then she asks him what is his name but Holden lies and tells her that his name is Rudolf. When she tries to make a deep connection with him, he mentions that he has an operation and he will not be able to visit her and Ernest. “She got off at Newark. She wished me a lot of luck with operation and all. She kept calling me Rudolf. Then she invited me to visit Ernie during summer …But I wouldn’t visit that sonuvabitch Morrow for all the dough in the world, even if I was desperate.” (Salinger 58) This clearly shows how Holden avoids any contact with anybody. He lies to her that his name is Rudolf, that he has a brain tumor, and that he will not be able to visit them during the summer. Once again he chooses to isolate himself. Lastly Holden isolates himself, from everyone and from the world when he tries several times to think of someone to call at the phone booth. Yet, he always comes up with an excuse not to call, making him feel more lonesome. As well when he invites Miss Faith Cavendish to cocktails and she says no, she offers him another day to hang out but he invents excuses just to avoid any connection.
"I thought we might have just one cocktail together. It isn't too late." "Well. You're very sweet," she said. "Where ya callin' from?... You sound like a very attractive person. But it is late." "I could come up to your place." "Well, ordinary, I'd say grand. I mean I'd love to have you drop up for a cocktail, but my roommate happens to be ill… Perhaps we could get together for cocktails tomorrow." "I can't make it tomorrow," I said. "Tonight's the only time I can make it." What a dope I was. I…