IRJE: Jan 15 (The Catcher in The Rye)

In his book, The Catcher in The Rye, J.D.Salinger uses Holden Caulfield, a depressed teenager as the narrator and tells us his story.Holden tells the readers that the school expelled him due to his failing grades. After numerous struggles with the other boys in the dorm, He leaves the school frustrated and decides to have a short vacation in New York before returning home to deal with his parents, who will be disappointed hearing him expelled from Pencey. On the train to New York, he meets the mother of a person he considers a stinker in the school. He tells the lady fascinating things about her son, despite how much a scoundrel the son is.

“It really took everybody quite a long time to get to know him. He’s a funny guy. A strange guy, in a lot of ways–know what I mean? Like when I first met him. When I first met him, I thought he was kind of a snobbish person. That’s what I thought. But he isn’t. He’s just got this very original personality that takes you a little while to get to know him.” (p.56)

The conversation between Holden and Mrs. Morrow reveals more depth about his character. Holden dislikes Ernest but has no problem impressing Mrs. Morrow by telling lies about the boy. He leaves no negative impression on the readers, even though he is telling lies. Holden may be potentially describing someone he wishes to become, or instead how he wants others to view him. By telling lies, he describes a story lovelier than reality, which makes him forget about his miserable self for a little while.