Holden Is An Unreliable Narrator Essay

1066 Words Aug 9th, 2014 5 Pages
In the novel The Catcher in the Rye authored by J.D. Salinger, the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, is a teenager who refuses to accept that he is becoming an adult. Holden is obsessed about being a child and refuses to stop horsing around. He chooses to place himself between the world of simple innocence and complex adulthood. Holden is the narrator and he chooses to tell the story in his own contradicting manner. Holden controls his experiences and his narrations of the same are distorted from reality. He is also naïve and immature, which causes him to listen to strangers in his attempt to avoid listening to the advice of those who truly care for him. Holden’s personality is synonymous to a rubber band, he uses resistance and control in an effort to avoid… this makes Holden a truly unreliable narrator. Holden is an extremely contradicting character; hence, the reason why he is an unreliable narrator. For example when Stradlater, Holden’s roommate, got in a fight with him, Holden, “All that blood and all sort of made me look tough. I’d only been in about two fights in my life, and I lost both of them. I’m not too tough. I’m a pacifist, if you want to know the truth.”(Salinger, 46) Therefore, Holden is enjoying the fact that he looks tough because he has blood on his face. He contradicts himself by calling himself a peaceful person. These are the kind of contradictions that the author uses to show how unreliable Holden is. Furthermore, another example of Holden’s…

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