Essay Example on Holden Caulfield is a lonely misanthrope who craves Compassion









Holden Caulfield is a lonely misanthrope who craves compassion He's afraid of change wants to preserve the innocence of children and searches for an escape He also displays critical point of views and deceives those around him This 16 year old boy perceives the world as a harsh and evil place However he slowly comes to a conclusion that he cannot change the world to his own liking In J D Salinger s novel the protagonist Holden Caulfield goes through issues like coping with his brother s death growing up and having a competition with himself and his depression Most of the novel displays Holden s critical and pessimistic views on the world and desires to contain the innocence that s left It becomes clear in the final chapters of the novel that Holden is a dynamic character that becomes accepting of the real world While he had a cynical outlook on the world he transformed as a character and came to understand that he cannot preserve innocence adulthood and change are inevitable and that he cannot escape but rather be strong enough to live with his struggles Holden Caulfield s evolution of a dynamic character begins when he realizes he cannot be the Catcher in the Rye When Holden goes up the stairs in Phoebe s school he finds that someone has scrawled a curse word on the wall Seeing this makes Holden angry and thought how Phoebe and all the other kids would see it and how they d wonder what the hell it meant and then finally some dirty kid would tell them 260 He cannot stand to see kids getting corrupted because he wants to save children from losing their innocence 

However when Holden goes up another staircase he sees the same curse word on the wall that was scratched on and tries to rub it off but it wouldn t come off It s hopeless anyway If you had a million years to do it in you couldn t rub out even half the Fuck You signs in the world At this scene he accepts that it s impossible to save the innocence of children because it s inevitable for children to lose it in this world The next step of his progression as a character was when he understood that adulthood and change are inevitable Holden sparks up a conversation with a cab driver about the ducks in the lagoon in Central Park and asks if he happens to know where they go in the wintertime like if they fly away by themselves go south or something 107 By Holden asking about where the ducks go he s demonstrating his struggle with change and him wanting things to stay the same but knows that they can t because the ducks are proof that you have to adapt to the environment to survive However Holden accepts the notion of change and that it s inevitable to enter adulthood when Phoebe rides the carousel and tries to reach for the gold ring Holden was afraid she would fall off but understood that the thing with kids is if they want to grab for the gold ring you have to let them do it and not say anything 274 The protagonist of the book came to understand that running away from his problems and escaping is not the answer

Holden was fond of his thoughts about living in his own cabin and being isolated from people and pretend to be a deaf mute so he wouldn t have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody 257 He wrote Phoebe a letter that he d be leaving soon However when Phoebe pleads to go along with him he changes his mind and thinks realistically for Phoebe s protection When Phoebe comes back from her carousel ride she put on the red hunting hat on Holden as a shield and Holden agrees he would go home afterward instead of his plan to travel West when his sister asks Holden meant it too and wasn t lying to her because he really did go home afterward 274 From the beginning to the end of the book Holden went through a major change as a character which dubs him as a dynamic character Before he was pessimistic about the ways of the world and wanted to be the savior of innocence and wanted to save children from going through the emerging world of adulthood Towards the end he changed and came to understand that he cannot preserve innocence adulthood and change are inevitable and that he cannot escape Holden as a character reflects the human world that people can change their outlook on life Holden demonstrates that people aren t perfect and brings about issues that people didn't want to bring about before He's an imperfect character that was worth bringing to life because he's a relatable character that some teenagers perceive as a friend

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