Catcher in the Rye Essay

1124 Words May 15th, 2001 5 Pages
J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye provides a provocative inquiry into the crude life of a depressed adolescent, Holden Caulfield. Without intensive analysis and study, Holden appears to be a clearly heterosexual, vulgar yet virtuous, typical youth who chastises phoniness and decries adult evils. However, this is a fallacy. The finest manner to judge and analyze Holden is by his statements and actions, which can be irrefutably presented. Holden Caulfield condemns adult corruption and phoniness but consistently misrepresents himself and is a phony as well as a hypocrite.
Holden criticizes phonies although he engages in phony conversations and uses 'phony' words. Before he leaves Pencey Prep, in his visit with Mr. Spencer, Holden
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Although he supposedly detests what he sees he does observe a male transvestite for quite a while. Holden says, "the hotel," which he personally chose, "was lousy with perverts" (p62). While staring at the obscene acts being performed he admits that "that kind of junk is fascinating" and he wouldn't mind doing it "if the opportunity came up" (p62). Another example Holden's hypocrisy. He criticizes the 'perverts' then acknowledges he would do the same thing if he could.
Holden claims to be heterosexual but that is 'phony' to shroud his subconscious, homosexual propensities. Holden is quite bold in announcing his own sexual attractiveness at several times through out the novel. He boisterously declares, "I am quite sexy" (p54) and that he is "probably the biggest sex maniac you ever saw" (p62). Both of these statements are made by Holden to impress upon the reader his sexual prowess. It is a thinly veiled attempt which allows Holden not to express his true intimate feelings, which he is timid to admit. In order to expose the doubt in his sexual commitments one should examine his statements and actions as well as the conduct of those he associates with.
Holden affiliate with two other gay men, Mr. Antolini and Carl Luce. Salinger is careful to connect the three through their attraction to older women, possibly as a means to conceal their true sexual

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