Holden’s Passive and Unwillingness Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 15 February 2017

Holden’s Passive and Unwillingness

Holden is the protagonist in the novel, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (1945). Holden is a character who tries to seek for dignity, but he has some flaws holding him back. Holden is passive and unwilling to examine himself and seek his own dignity. Three reasons for his tragic flaw are: his craziness, his immaturity, and his phoniness and madman stuff.

The first reason for Holden’s flaw is his craziness. He acts this way because he is not normal like others. Something that he repeats constantly throughout the novel is, “He is the biggest phony.” This quote shows how Holden thinks and acts towards others. Holden acts this way because who falls in love too quickly with Jane and Sally. He also thinks this way because Jane and Sally equal perfection and he isn’t perfect like them or anybody else. Finally his thoughts are what can he do to be perfect like everyone else because he seems to be the only that is crazy. Therefore, Holden acts and thinks differently from everyone else because he is insane.

The second reason for Holden’s flaw is his immaturity. He acts this way because Holden is always alone and have no family to support him except his younger sister, Phoebe. Something that is repeated constantly throughout the novel is, “Jane keeping her kings in the back row.” This symbol shows that Holden cannot separate the past from the present time. Holden thinks this way because he was always necking with Jane when they were young. He also thinks this way because of his immaturity of always wanting to have sex and always wanting to be a kid instead of growing up to is an adult. Finally his thoughts always want to be with Jane, but because of his immaturity Jane doesn’t choose him. Therefore, Holden acts immature towards others because he has been expelled from four different schools and no one is there to teach him his manners and to discipline him.

The third reason for Holden’s flaw is his phoniness and his madman stuff. He acts this way because he doesn’t want to get help. Something that Holden repeats constantly in the novel is, “I’m a madman.” This quote shows that he has some personal issues going on with him, but he doesn’t want to get help. He thinks this way because his other lover, Jane is going out with others, but not him because he is a jealous person. He also thinks like this because it shows his low-self esteem and his view towards women. Finally his thoughts are I’m a madman because he is inexperienced with women. Therefore, Holden is a madman because of his jealousy toward women and never did have a real relationship with any women before.

In conclusion, Holden is passive and unwilling to examine himself and seek his own dignity. Three reasons for his tragic flaws are that he is crazy, he is immature, and his phoniness and his madman things. Holden acts crazy because he is not normal like others and isn’t perfect at everything. He acts immature because no one is there to teach him his manners and no one is there to also teach him his respect and manners. Holden also acts like a madman because he is jealous of Jane and Sally. He also acts like this because he doesn’t like the private schools that he goes to. Therefore, I think that Holden needs to go get some serious help to become a good and a better person.

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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 15 February 2017

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