Catcher in the Rye Essay

1140 Words Aug 23rd, 2013 5 Pages
The human condition refers to the inescapable features of being a human being. It is related to those human feelings that search for the meaning of life. It is the saga of events in life that changes people’s perception. In the big picture, the human condition is also the reasons which causes a child to grow and mature into a man. J.D. Salinger explores this condition through his character Holden in his book The Catcher in the Rye and director Fred Schepisi in his film Six Degrees of Separation, through his main character, Paul.

Both texts delve deep into the workings of the human condition. While one boy fights to break apart from the uniformity of society, the other craves to be one with the normality of it. Yet, strangely, both
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In order to convince himself that he is truly NOT following society’s expectations, Holden buys his red hunting hat because it makes him unique and totally different. Salinger uses symbolism to express both Holden’s validation of his individuality and at the same time his social anxiety. Holden wears his hat proudly and yet he is also very conscious of wearing it in front of others. The presence of the hat, therefore, mirrors the central conflict in both Paul’s and Holden’s characters: Their want to break out of social norms versus their fear to do so.

Ironically, in contrast to his supposed rejection of society, Holden still craves for acceptance. He uses lying and deception to show himself as an interesting and appealing person. Paul also behaves in a similar manner when he enters the Kittredge’s lives by spinning a web of shameless lies. Both characters feel that the dissimulation is necessary to be able to mix with people freely. Holden makes it clear that he doesn't want to grow up and get a job, ride in expensive cars, go to an office or associate with phonies.

Yet if you rub away his cynical exterior he actually really does want to do those things. Salinger has shown Holden as a character who is perpetually caught in a limbo where he is judgemental of people and yet he wants to join the same people for a drink and company. When Holden interacts with people, they usually

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