Catcher In The Rye


Word Count: 947

The book Catcher in the Rye tells of Holden Caulfield\'s insight about
life and the world around him. Holden shares many of his opinions about
people and leads the reader on a 5 day visit into his mind. Holden,
throughout the book, made other people feel inferior to his own. I can
relate to this because although I do not view people inferior to myself, I
do judge others unequally. Holden and I both have similar judgements of
people from the way they act and behave. We also share feelings about
motivation as well as lack of it. After reading this book, I came to the
conclusion that Holden and I are much more similar than I initially
believed.

Holden portrayed others to be inferior to his own kind all throughout
the book. He made several references as to how people aren\'t as perfect as
he was. "The reason he [Stradlater] fixed himself up to look good was
because he was madly in love with himself." (pg. 27) Holden had an
inferiority complex. He was afraid of not having any special talents or
abilities and used other methods to make him out to be a rough tough boy.
"Boy, I sat at that goddam bar till around one o\'clock or so, getting drunk
as a bastard. I could hardly see straight." (pg. 150) Holden tried all he
could to fit in. He drank, cursed and criticized life in general to make it
seem he was very knowing of these habits. I myself have found me doing this
at times, also. I, at times, feel the need to fit in to a group and do
things similar to what others do in order to gain acceptance by them. I
smoked a cigar once with two friends of mine because they kept going on and
on about how great cigars were, but that was only once. Holden and I both
place people on levels other than our own for amount of knowledge and
likeness to ourselves.

Holden used the term \'phonies\' to describe more than a few people in
this book. He used the term to be what a person is if they don\'t act
naturally and follow other people\'s manners and grace. Holden didn\'t like
phonies, he thought of them as if they were trying to show off. He didn\'t
like it when they showed off because it seemed so fake and unnatural every
time they would do so.

"At the end of the first act we went out with all
the other jerks for a cigarette. What a deal that
was. You never saw so many phonies in all your life,
everybody smoking their ears off and talking about
the play so that everybody could hear how sharp they
were." (pg. 126)

I know many people like this as well. I do not like phonies either. I
have many friends who talk using full vocabulary just to try to impress
you, and others who make note of everything they see to show you how
perceptible they are. People do this when they have a fear of their own
individuality and feel that they need to ace different to get people to
like them. Holden and I both dislike phonies. We do not like people who
take on roles of others to seem more likeable because they are insecure.

Throughout the book Holden displays a lack of motivation for many
things in which he should do. Holden couldn\'t even call up an old
girlfriend whom he knew a long time ago.

"But when I got inside this phone booth, I
wasn\'t much in the mood any more to give old
Jane a buzz." (Pg. 150)

Holden also had a problem getting his motivation together in order to
complete schoolwork and succeed in his prep school. I have similar problems
with my motivation and find at times I must be in the mood to do something
in order for me to accomplish it. This stems from our experience in the
past being that we can get through life, or the part we\'ve been through
already, with minimal effort. Holden has had this opportunity to notice
this as his parents have been shuffling him around to different schools
every time he flunks. He feels his parents will be there to move him
somewhere else and take care of him every time something goes wrong. I
found out in eighth grade that the schoolwork I had was far less than the
schoolwork