Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Catcher in the Rye Judgment Paper free essay sample

Judging someone based on appearance or a first impression usually isn’t an accurate depiction of the person’s true personality. But to Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, first impressions are concrete in his mind. Because he is so judgmental, he doesn’t have any friends and eventually goes insane seeing as human nature is to communicate and interact and he doesn’t have anyone to interact with. J. D. Salinger argued in the catcher in the rye that being judgmental isn’t beneficial to ones well-being or success in life and this is seen as Holden Caulfield judges everyone and pushed most away when in reality he longed for anyone to be close with. In the novel, Holden got kicked out of Pencey Prep for failing four of five classes. On his way out, he decides to pay Mr. Spencer, his history teacher, a visit. They sit down and Mr. Spencer begins to lecture Holden about his effort in school and his future, but Holden refuses to listen to Mr. Spencer criticize his life. Holden abruptly left Mr. Spencer’s house because he viewed Mr. Spencer only as a man trying to criticize him, and not a man trying to help him. â€Å"You will,’ Old Spencer said. ‘You will, boy. You will when it’s too late. ’ I didn’t like hearing him say that. It made me sound dead or something† (14) When Mr. Spencer says this to Holden, he is saying how it’ll be too late when Holden finally wakes up to reality. Holden strongly dislikes this and that’s the reason he left. That is one of the first instances of Holden judging and pushing away those around him. He then returns to his dormitory and his neighbor, Ackley, stops by. Ackley is described as a pimply nerd and that is the first impression of Ackley, solely his physical description. Holden focuses on his pimples, and his nail-clipping, and his mannerisms to portray Ackley as a disgusting human instead of focusing on who he is as a person. Because Holden is the narrator, his view of Ackley is easily seen as shallow and it makes Ackley look like an unsympathetic character. Holden also had a roommate at Pencey Prep, Stradlater. He was jealous of Stradlater’s sexual experience although he never directly says so. Holden judges Stradlater, calling him a â€Å"secret slob because of his disgusting mannerisms. Holden could be closer with Stradlater and they could be good friends, but Holden is too busy focusing on the negativity of Stradlater and his jealousy for Stradlater’s positive qualities. Holden judges Stradlater and Ackley based on their mannerisms and appearances and they are some of the people closest to him. Holden calls Stradlater a â€Å"secret slob† and says â€Å"The reason he fixed himself up to look good was because he was madly in love with himself. He thought he was the handsomest guy in the Western Hemisphere† (29). Around him, Holden sees only phonies and hypocrites, however one could call Holden a hypocrite and phony as well. Holden’s red hunting hat is a symbol of him not caring what anyone else thinks about him, but he chooses only to wear it in the safety of his own room. This contradicts the idea that he doesn’t care at all what people think. Holden shouldn’t be judging Stradlater or Ackley based on their appearances because he too cares about his own appearance which makes Holden a phony as well. In the middle chapters, Holden misses Phoebe, his sister, and Jane, a girl he had intimate feelings for, and even D. B. , his brother. This is different from before because now the reader can see Holden’s need for company and not only Holden’s judgmental attitude and him pushing everyone away. Holden also accepts an offer for a prostitute to be sent to his room from an elevator clerk. When she arrives, Holden’s childhood innocence and fear of adulthood are seen as he tells the prostitute that he just had surgery and can’t have sex, despite this being a lie. Holden’s sexual needs put him into situations such as this one and after being punched by Maurice, he regrets it. After Maurice left and he got up from the punch, he said â€Å"What I really felt like, though, was committing suicide. I felt like jumping out the window† (104). That only sets him further back and now he is lonelier than ever. This encounter with Maurice concretizes his view of the world as cruel and cold. Later in the book, he goes on a date with Sally Hayes. They go to a theatre show, and then ice skating but he realizes she only wanted to do this so she could show off her butt in public and this irritates Holden. Finally Holden tries to connect with her in his desperate plea for love, but she shoots down his plans to run away. He says she is a â€Å"royal pain in the ass†, and leaves. This encounter causes Holden to withdraw further into himself and detach even more from society. He is losing faith in his ability to connect with someone or find love after Sally Hayes. Because he was so judgmental of everyone, he never addressed how to interact with others. Now, when he needs company, he can’t have any because he drives everyone away with his immature behaviors. After the date, Holden calls up Carl Luce whom he used to know from an old prep school. They meet for drinks and Holden’s curiosity takes over when he starts asking questions about sex. Carl becomes uncomfortable with answering the questions and leaves, suggesting that Holden get mental help. Holden is now really lonely because he had yet another honest attempt to connect with anyone and he was shot down. Holden tries to pass off Carl as a phony, but he can’t shake his thoughts. Throughout â€Å"The Catcher in the Rye†, Holden Caulfield further and further distances himself from society. This is because he is judgmental of everyone else and sees the world as a place full of hypocrisy and phonies. However, that makes Holden a phony as well because he would fit under his own description of a phony. Through his depiction of Holden, Salinger can comment on the consequences of being a judgmental person and distancing oneself from others. Holden did so and ended up insane in a mental care facility. However, had Holden put on a facade of kindness and care and kept his friends, would he have still ended up in the mental hospital?

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