Holden Caulfield Character Analysis Essay

1962 Words 8 Pages
Holden Caulfield is a young and privileged young man. He has attended the best schools America has to offer, his parents care for him, his little sister adores him and his brother is living an exciting life in California. But Holden feels depressed and alone. He feels surrounded by people who do not understand him. He feels surrounded by so called “phonies” - hypocrites - whom he despises for being untrue and dishonest. Throughout the book the reader gets to know Holden. We know he is seventeen years old, already has some gray hair and is six feet two and a half inches tall. Holden can easily be described as contradictory and resentful of the world around him. Distancing himself from others yet at the same time wanting to connect. Holden leaves …show more content…
He dislikes most of them, yet he still wants them to spend time with him. Holden’s often negative attitude toward other people, has an off putting effect on them, causing them to shy away from him. This is part of why Holden feels lonely. This is also another example of Holden being a hypocrite. At Pencey Prep. Holden has a roommate called “Stradlater”. Holden was disgusted by him due to him being a womanizer, yet Holden is a self-proclaimed sex maniac: “In my mind, I'm probably the biggest sex maniac you ever saw.” (chapter 9) Holden feels that Stradlater is a phony, a hypocrite, traits he hates. But he still wants to be with Stratlater, he even admits to missing him when leaves Pencey. Holden doesn’t downright despise Stradlater, but his feelings are mixed. He wants to have friends, but he thinks everyone he meets is a phony. This proves to be problematic for Holden. One of the few people in the book whom he does not consider to be a phony is his little sister; Phoebe. His relationship with her is also different from the rest. He even uses Phoebe for guidance. Sneaking into his parents apartment to speak with her. He goes there, because he has decided to go and live as a deaf-mute, for the rest of his life. He believes that, it is the only way he can avoid the phonies and the fake and gloomy world he lives in. Phoebe responds in a unique way that Holden isn’t used to. Instead of telling him what ridiculous plan that is, like his history teacher tells him that he needs to apply himself in school. Instead, she offers to pack her bags and leave immediately. This forces Holden to realize, that he cannot take Phoebe with him, and that his plan indeed is ridiculous. Holden holds her sister in high esteem, he might even love her. That makes her very special. The only moment in the book, where Holden is truly happy also revolves around Phoebe: I felt so damn happy all of a sudden, the way old Phoebe kept

Related Documents