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In The Catcher in the Rye, main character Holden Caulfield displays three specific characteristics. In this paper I will be converse about how Holden very compassionate, needy and lonely. Holden shows many times in this book how he is needy, most of the time he tries to hide this trait but with some people Holden bares it all. Holden shows compassion's while he watches his younger sister Phoebe go around on the Carousel, and he begins to cry. Lastly he is lonely, he never really seems to make many friends and he stays very attached to his dead brother throughout the whole book. Holden Caulfield trys to show us during this book that he is very independent and strong, but if you really look at him as a true person you see that he is needy.
The main thing that I see Holden as being needy towards is people. He loves to talk with people and is always trying to start up a conversation with some one. Even when the person he is talking to does not seem interested he goes on, and at great length. For example when he meets the three girls at the bar he continues to talk to them even thought they do not even look at him or answer any of the many questions he asks them. Holden being the sarcastic person he says, Youre a very good conversationalist (72) to one of the girls after he gets tired of her not answering any of his questions.
There is one other thing that makes Holden needy and that is his brother Ally. Ally died when Holden was younger and he has never seemed to get over it. He often refers back to his brother talking about how he had his best times while in the company of Ally. Also when Phoebe asks Holden what he enjoys he replies I like Ally (171). This shows that he still relies on his brother even though he is dead. Continuing on to what I was saying in the previous chapter Holden's attachment to Ally makes him lonely.
Holden does not give people a chance. He is very critical and is always looking at the lesser qualities in people. He also loves his younger sister Phoebe and being that he attends boarding school he does not get to see her. An example of Holden being lonely is when he has the prostitute come up to this room and after they talked and did nothing sexually she demands five dollars more than Maurice had told him it would be. Holden politely tells her the situation and refuses to pay. A little while later Maurice and the stripper come back and Maurice knocks Holden out and steals the five dollars from him.
When the whole incident is over Holden feels really low and as if the whole world is against him. He feels so lonely that he thinks about jumping out the window and committing suicide. What I really felt like, thought was committing suicide. I felt like jumping out the window. (104) Only people that are truly lonely contemplate committing suicide.
The only thing that stopped Holden from doing this in my mind is his sister Phoebe. Towards the end of The Catcher in the Rye, Holden shows us who he truly is, a compassionate person. When Holden tells Phoebe that he is going to leave early she demands that she goes with him and not back to school. Holden trys to convince her to not come with him so he spends the day with her.
They go into the park and She goes on the carousel She asks Holden to come on with her but he insists that he is too big. It begins to rain as Phoebe goes around on the carousel and Holden just stands there in the rain watching her. He watches her reach her hand out to grab the rings and Holden begins to cry. He loves her so much and cannot hold back his feeling any more. She looks so beautiful going round and round and Holden just becomes so happy that he cries.
In conclusion Holden Caulfield is a very compassionate and kindhearted person, he loves his sister and does have positive feels towards people. He also shows us that he is lonely because he misses his brother and family. Holden has such a strong opinion of his brother and he expects everyone else to live up to him. Missing his brother also makes him needy and he often trys to find people to talk to even if they do not want to listen. Holden truly grew up over the course of this book and at the end when he talks about people asking him if he is going to apply himself when he goes back to school and he replies how do I know until I am there, shows to me that he really is a smart person because I find this statement so true.
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