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‘It is his disparities that make Holden compelling as a character.’ I completely agree with this declaration, as Holden’s substantial inconsistencies are what make him an insightful, genuine and compelling character. A world without inconsistencies would be extremely uninteresting. As human beings we are all drawn to the odd/ interesting things in life to some extent. This is why Holden is so engaging as a character; it is due to the fact that he is various from the conformists of the world he resides in.
As we can see in chapter 2 when Mr. Spencer states ‘life is a video game kid.
Life is a game that a person plays according to the guidelines. We may think at first Holden thinks life is a video game, however he believes the opposite, he is deathly major about life, but he doesn’t accept the guidelines set prior to him by ‘fake’ adults. Another manner in which Holden is irregular with the world around him that makes him an engaging character is that he demands authenticity.
For instance in Ernie’s piano bar he thinks Ernie is a ‘counterfeit as he makes his music phony with trills and elegant technical screen to impress the crowed (‘excellent snob’) As Holden needs authenticity he also does not desire art to be an event for egotistic exhibit.
He believes to himself, ‘I was surrounded by jerks.’ Another inconsistency that makes him a compelling character is his hypercritical propensity to lie, however be constantly real to the reader: ‘im always sayin glad to have actually fulfilled you to some one I’m not delighted to fulfill, if you wish to survive you need to say that stuff though.
’ This quote also highlights his whole viewpoint of life. He attempts not to keep himself alive however, but to keep the innocence of those around him. He likewise wants them to believe he is really delighted to meet them in order to preserve their innocence.
Another example of many, is in the train talking to Morrows mother, he tells us, ‘her some was doughtless the biggest basted that ever went to Pency, in the whole crumby history of the school. ’ He tells her, ‘he adapts himself very well to things,’ and ‘he’s a very sensitive boy. ’ He concludes I’m the most terrific liar. ’ This quote sums up his hypercritical nature as he thinks liars are phonies. I feel that the inconsistency that makes him most compelling and empathisable is his attachment to Allie.
The main cause of Holden’s depression and inconsistencies was Allie’s death. Through out the novel he talks about Allie very admiringly: ‘my brother Allie, the one that died was a wizard. ’ And,’ 50 times more intelligent,’ and,’ people with red hair are supposed to get mad very easily, but Allie never did. ’ Due to all this upraised talk about Allie in the past, it forces us to sympathize with him, which forges a relationship between Holden and the reader thus making him more compelling.
Also, Holden’s subconscious battle between innocence and adulthood make him very interesting to the reader. Holden believes himself to be the protector of innocence. ‘ The catcher in the rye. ’ Which incorrectly derives its meaning from Robert burns’ song ‘comin thro the rye. ’ Which correctly interpreted is song about adultery and sex. Holden misinterprets the song as catching kid innocently running through a rye field about to fall off a cliff into adulthood.
Holden is on the edge of this cliff, drawn to the adult world by sex but pulled back by Allie, as Holden connects him with innocence, and to lose his innocence would mean to forget Allie. We can see in chapter 13, this battle between adulthood and innocence that make him such an interesting character. In this chapter Holden is very keen to meet the prostitute: ‘put some water on my hair,’ he’ ‘tested to see if [his] breath stank. ’ He also, ‘brushed [his] teeth… then [he] put on another clean shirt. ’ He said, ‘ I was started to feel pretty sex and all.
It is obvious here that Holden is ready to lose his virginity and plunge into adulthood with no second thoughts. However his mind set changes when he realizes she is ‘young as hell. ’ His persona of the protector of innocence kicks in, ‘sexy was the last think I was feeling, I felt much more depressed than sexy. ’ Here his innocence overcomes adulthood and pulls him away from the cliff. Therefore it is Holden’s inconsistencies that make him such an interesting and compelling character to the reader.
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