A young man going through puberty, not knowing what he is doing or where he is headed, in a world in which he feels he doesn't belong in, and feels he is always around a bunch of "phonies." This would describe the position of Holden Caulfield, the main character in The Catcher in the Rye (1951) written by J.D. Salinger.
The book, all narrated by Holden in first person, in its very unique and humorous style, is about Holden, and all the troubles he has encountered through school, family
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And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff--I mean if they're running and they don' look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all"(173). He wants to save the kids of their innocence, and protect them from the adult world. This indicates Holden's insecurity of the world in which he lives in, and his disgust with becoming an adult.
Holden is a very unique individual. He thinks he is different than everyone else he meets, and he is quick to point out how phony everybody else is. While in New York, Holden buys a red hunting hat. It was a very odd hat to wear out in public, especially at a prep school, and the other kids were always giving him a hard time for wearing it. Holden describes it, “It was this red hunting hat, with one of those very, very long peaks. It only cost me a buck. The way I wore it, I swung the old peak way around to the back—very corny, I’ll admit, but I liked it that way”(18). Holden is always proud that he is different than everybody around him, and he sees that hat as a part of his independence. He always likes to think that he is not a “phony” himself, and will do anything possible to show how different he is than all the other “phonies.”
Another thing Holden likes to recollect is the lagoon